Kamloops Vaping Inquiry Reflects Youth Input

Posted On Monday November 18, 2019

A three-part focused inquiry into the impact of vaping on health is underway in Kamloops. School District No. 73, Interior Health and Thompson Rivers University are partners in the project investigating ways to communicate to youth and adults about vaping.

“The idea is to develop and then distribute factual, evidence-based information to schools and to the community,” said Sherry Stade, SD73 health promoting schools coordinator.

The partnership includes the TRU Faculty of Science, TRU School of Nursing, and SD73, and it is being funded through a Mind the Gap Grant from the TRU Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching. A working group involving SD73 administrators and students, TRU 4th year Nursing students, TRU 2nd year Respiratory Therapy students, and Health Authority representatives.

Part one of the project, Vaping Knowledge Mobilization – Come Learn With Us began with a survey of students and the development and delivery of an interactive presentation.  Well over 4,000 students will be shown this presentation throughout the district. It describes how vape devices work, what the ingredients are, and how these ingredients may be harmful to the brain and body.

“Our intervention began with grades 6 and 7 students through the fall term from October to December, and from January to March we will focus on grades 8 to 10 students in the Physical and Health Education classes,” said Stade.   

Information in the presentation includes insights collected from SD73 students in grade 6 to 12 and post-secondary students at TRU. Students were each asked five questions about their understanding and views about vaping. The insights into why people vape helped guide the presentation, and clarify common misconceptions about the safety of vaping.

Stade said it’s clear this information is timely. News reports of 39 cases of death and 2,000 cases of lung injuries in the United States have been emerging since late summer.  And during the week of Nov. 12, the BC Government proposed tougher restrictions on vaping in response to concerns about high rates of youth vaping.

“The most telling part of the presentation is where we list the short-term and the long-term effects of vaping,” she said. “We have a known list of short-term effects that include shortness of breath, increased heart rate and inflammation of airways, but we know nothing about long-term effects. This gets everyone’s attention.”

Part two of the project, Collective Intelligence – Community Engagement will involve an evening health forum on Feb. 20, 2020. The forum will feature Dr. Marvin Krank, a professor of psychology at UBC Okanagan.

In part three, Collective Intelligence -Student Engagement, SD73 and TRU students will lead a day-long health forum in early 2020. The event will host up to 200 students and its focus will be finding solutions that could make a meaningful difference for the health outcomes of youth. 


Note: the photo here is of the Vaping Working Group, as follows:

Standing, from the left:

4th year nursing: Angela Clarke

Faculty of Science: Respiratory Therapy Lecturer: Allison Innes-Wiens

RT student: Cory Kroft

RT student: Ray Lyle

SD73 Sherry Stade


Front row, from the left:

RT student: Dilraj Natt

4th year nursing: Brittany Piva


Contact Us