Your Oct. 1 piece celebrating Sandy Osborn’s 15 years of service in the tobacco-free coalition reminds me of the dangerous misconceptions still held by many high school students about the vaping epidemic.

As a Verona Area High School graduate, and current University of Wisconsin-Madison Nursing and Master of Public Health student, I believe it is crucial that we continue to fight against the normalization of “vape culture” to better protect teens at VAHS.

With two younger siblings who also attended VAHS since I graduated, I’ve heard unsettling and incorrect information over the years about vaping in the VAHS community. Most horrifyingly, I’ve heard that one student thought that vaping mint-flavored pods would “reduce their asthma symptoms.” There is absolutely zero evidence to support this and the opposite result of increased asthmatic symptoms would be much more likely in this case.

It is becoming exceedingly clear that vaping is not safe, as of Oct. 1, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed at least 1,080 vaping associated lung injuries (VAPI) and 15 deaths.

We need to correct perceptions about the dangers of vaping, disseminate important facts about health-risks in the classrooms, and provide cessation support so that our students have the tools to make educated decisions about their behaviors.

Kirsten Queoff

City of Madison