MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - On Tuesday at Mishawaka High School, the topic of teen vaping took center stage in the school’s auditorium.
Administrators hoped a presentation by actor Moses Jones would inform students about how dangerous vaping can be.
Jones became passionate about the topic when he saw the devastating effects nicotine had on his own mother.
"It’s important that these students understand that it’s not this harmless water vapor," Jones said.
The presentation by Jones is called "Sweet Deception," and it’s got a message for teens about vaping.
"We want them to know that this industry is geared toward, aiming toward you," he said.
He says that's a big problem and a big health risk.
"The part of the brain that nicotine effects is your impulse and emotions, which, when you think of a young person, what are they all about at this age, right now? Impulses and emotions. Right? So, if you get this in their system while they're still developing, now they're body starts developing with this and they start thinking that they need this product," he said.
There are many ways teens can vape, but Jones says one is leading the pack.
"More specifically Juul right now, just because that's running rampant in high schools,” he said.
Mishawaka High School has seen a big increase in disciplinary actions because of vaping.
"It’s not any different [than] if you go down the road to another high school. Students are vaping, they're targeted, and we need to make sure we're sending a message to them that it is unsafe so that they can understand the consequences for what they're doing,” Mishawaka Superintendent Wayne Barker said.
The presentation Tuesday was all about educating young, developing minds. Jones says he would like to see lawmakers take steps to fight the epidemic of teen vaping.
"They don't really know how impactful and how harmful this can be to the body. So, if they had the opportunity to just start with banning the flavoring first and then move forward with vaping, I think we would see such a big drawback from that alone,” he said.
Jones and staff at the high school say parents can help fight teen vaping by becoming more educated on the products out there that teens are getting their hands on.