Amid a recent spike in mysterious e-cig-related illnesses, City Comptroller Scott Stringer is calling on Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to make sure middle schoolers are learning about the dangers of nicotine and vaping.
“By ensuring children understand how to live healthy, balanced lives and are informed consumers of any substance they encounter, we can help curb unhealthy behaviors that have high social and economic costs to the city,” states Stringer’s letter, which was sent Wednesday.
Health education for city middle schoolers requires a component on the dangers of e-cigs. But just 61% of sixth- through eighth-grade students were scheduled for a semester of health ed in the 2017-18 school year, according to Stringer’s office.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan — who sponsored legislation on anti-vaping education — signed Stringer’s letter.
“The health and well-being of our students is our top priority, and we are adding lessons specifically about e-cigarettes to our recommended health curriculum," Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said. “We are also continuing to work closely with the City Health Department and share fact sheets with students, staff and families on the risks of use.”