EGHS sophomores work to create anti-vaping PSA


Gavin Ewen

Sophomores Carlos Cedillo (left) and Caden Dixon (middle) discuss the health effects of vaping during their 1st period sophomore pilot class.

Gavin Ewen, Staff Reporter

It’s no question that vaping has become a nationwide problem at the high school level. Elk Grove High School and Township High School District 214 have been looking into ways to curb the use of vape pens and e-cigarettes in schools.

A group of EGHS sophomores, however, just might contribute to the solution to the problem.

Since mid-October, the EGHS sophomore pilot class has been working on solutions to prevent vaping in schools. Social studies teacher Jim Arey and educational support professional Sara Derdiger instruct students in the class.

One piece of the puzzle to the solution is a public service announcement (PSA) that the sophomore class is in the process of creating to run on the morning announcements.

The PSA was Arey’s idea originally. Derdiger, who helps lead the class, said the class’s goal is simply to try and get the word out about the health perils of vaping.

“In my mind vaping is a big problem here at Elk Grove,” Derdiger said.

For the project, students are assigned to different topics revolving around the use of vaping. EGHS sophomores Caden Dixon, Tuvshin Zuunbayan, Carlos Cedillo and Harley Babcock are all working on the health effects portion of the project. Throughout their research so far, the group has found that lung cancer and bronchitis are two major health effects that stem from vaping use in general.

The sophomores said they want to remind students and staff that vaping is not a safer alternative than cigarette use. Once these four students finish their tests, they will broadcast the final PSA on morning announcements to inform students of their results.

The students in the class also believe the most important thing to do is get the word out so students know as much information as they can about vaping.

“I believe if we show students the real effects and real results, it will make them stay away,” Dixon said.

Because of these health effects that can occur from vaping, Sandra Laureano, another student in the pilot class, says she is planning to begin a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Her plan would be to raise money for people with different types of cancer.

Laureano said she believes that people should be able to live their lives to the fullest, but if you are vaping everyday, life might be cut short because of its effects that may arise in the future.

Edward Amour is additionally working on a supplemental piece for the project. He is creating a presentation to send out to teachers about vaping and it’s long-term effects to show students. He hopes by getting the word out that it will encourage students to stop vaping and take the issue seriously.

“I hope that teachers take this opportunity to let students know and show them that these PSA results do not lie,” Amour says.

Although the sophomore pilot class isn’t finished with the project just yet, it hopes to obtain all of its PSA results before winter break.

Derdiger said they wish that when the students present this project to the school, fewer kids will vape, and it will make EGHS a more healthy and safe environment. The two educators applauded their students for their work on the project.

Now they’re just hoping the hard work pays off.