PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--The increasing number of teens vaping is one reason Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center partnered with several Arizona schools to teach kids about the affects of tobacco and vaping.

It's giving schools access to a free program called ASPIRE that looks a lot like a video game.

[VIDEO: Phoenix schools using free program to fight vaping]

"This program is really unique in that it addresses the dangers we discussed, but also talks about good decision making and pure pressure, how to manage stress and other tools to use, to manage those tough things that really are causing some of the issues around these vaping problems," said Angel Fulmer, Wellness Senior Manager with Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.

18-year-old Luis Jair said he started vaping six years ago as a 12-year-old.

"It was pretty much in 7th grade," said Jair.

"I never consumed drugs, no marijuana, but it just started being like the cartridges, so that’s pretty much when I started doing vaping, you know, like hookah type thing."

Years later Jair said doctors told him vaping likely caused his health issues.

"I haven’t smoked no more because I think it’s bad because I’ve been having heart problems and my lungs, a lot of health issues going on," said Jair.

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center wants to keep teens from experiencing those same problems by offering ASPIRE to students.

"They get to create their own avatar, and then there are questions at the end of each module, so they can make choices during the modules as well," said Fulmer.

Several valley schools are already using it.

"Mesa has chosen to use it in a curriculum, and for their older kids they're going to use it as restorative justice, so those kids that get caught vaping, instead of suspending them from school they can have them take this program instead," said Fulmer.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you