The American Lung Association's INDEPTH (Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health) program, is a rehabilitative alternative to punishment for vaping offenses, meant to strengthen our approach to handling the use of nicotine products in our schools.
Tyzie Morning, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator with MTW District Health Department, met with 5th-grade and middle school students here at TCS to discuss the effects of vaping on the body and to help implement strategies to avoid nicotine consumption amongst pre-teen and adolescent children. She will continue to be meeting with TCS students in the coming month.
These efforts of Terrell County Schools are aimed at addressing and combatting the growing problem of vaping that has spread across the country. With INDEPTH, students will participate in one, 50-minute session per week for four weeks. However, the timing of these sessions can be individualized based on what is feasible for a given school.
The first session will be aimed at helping students understand the INDEPTH program and acquainting them with its expectations. It will also begin dissecting reasons individuals start vaping in the first place, and why it becomes a persistent habit.
The second session teaches about nicotine dependence, and requires students to reflect on their own habits and identify the activities and "trigger" usage.
In the third session, students will learn about alternatives to tobacco use, and will develop strategies to cope with the urge to vape. This session focuses on helping students develop their own definition of a healthy lifestyle.
The fourth day is dedicated to analyzing "the big picture," urging students to consider the long-term effects of their usage on things such as their mental and physical health, as well as their economic stability.
The program is meant to be implemented immediately after an offense, to demonstrate the urgency that these habits be broken. The sessions will be fit into their schedule or provided after school.