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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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St. Joe’s holds “Vape Escape” event

SJU Vape Escape was held outside of the Post Learning Commns and Francis A. Drexel Library. PHOTOS: Mitchell Shields ’22

About 27 e-cigarettes were dropped off at tables for the “Vape Escape” event set up outside Campion Student Center and the Post Learning Commons (PLC) and Francis A. Drexel Library on Oct. 30 as part of an effort by SJU Athletics, the School of Health Studies and Education and the Student Health Center to educate students about the dangers of using e-cigarettes.

Eric Laudauo, senior associate athletic director for high performance, said the goal of the event was to educate e-cigarette users and to create a safe opportunity for students to quit vaping.

The event ended up collecting 27 vapes from students.

“We want to create awareness and be visible on campus and provide an opportunity and platform for anyone who is currently vaping to turn in a vaping device, no questions asked,” Laudauo said.

As reported in a previous story by The Hawk, the Student Health Center has urged students to stop smoking e-cigarettes immediately. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the number of cases of e-cigarette related illnesses increased to 1,888 cases in 49 states as of Oct. 29. There have been 37 deaths associated with e-cigarette use in 24 states including Pennsylvania. The CDC updates this data weekly.

Eileen Bevilacqua, R.N., director of the Student Health Center, said materials are available to students about the dangers of e-cigarette use and how to stop, even if a student is not ready to turn in their device.

“The main goal is to encourage students to quit vaping,” Bevilacqua said. “And to educate the students on the dangers of it.”

Students who turned in their e-cigarettes, Juuls or vapes were rewarded with SJU swag.

Carly Rodriguez ’23 dropped off her Blu and Juul e-cigarettes and said she hopes quitting her e-cigarette use will be a step in the direction of a healthier life.

“I realized there are a lot of teenagers and kids dying from vaping and there are a lot of mishaps going on,” Rodriguez said. “I really wanted to put one foot forward and make a change hopefully not only to make myself better and healthier but everyone else healthier as well.”

The e-cigarettes were placed in designated bins for disposal by a hazmat company. According to Bevilacqua, the batteries from the e-cigarettes would be recycled.

Samira Toure ’23, a student working at one of the tables accepting vapes said that even if someone is not ready to fully turn in their device yet, there are still steps to take.

“I know that it’s hard, especially at our age,” Toure said, “If they’re not ready to turn their device in, we have stuff to get you to start [quitting]. I know friends of mine who are addicted to it, so I try to tell them, just go out for a week [without it] and see how that works. Sometimes it helps.”

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