Altoona Area High School receives vape sensors

Courtesy photo Pictured from left are Dr. George M. Zlupko, founder of the Lung Disease Foundation; Michael Corso, vice president of operations for UPMC Altoona representing the UPMC Altoona Foundation; Andy Neely, principal of Altoona Area High School; and Bill Pfeffer, director of safety and security for the Altoona Area School District.

Lung Disease, UPMC Altoona foundations partner for presentation

The Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, in partnership with UPMC Altoona Foundation, presented 30 vape sensors to the Altoona Area High School on April 14.

The vape sensors will be installed in the restrooms and locker rooms in the Altoona Area High School to detect vape smoke and chemicals. According to the Altoona Area School District, vaping made up 98% of their tobacco violations in 2019-20.

Dr. George M. Zlupko, chairman of the Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, senior partner and founder of the Altoona Lung Specialists, said, “The Lung Disease Foundation is pleased to partner with the Altoona Area School District in providing Vape Sensors to help in controlling the epidemic of vaping which is creating serious long-term consequences for students.”

In 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900%. These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and hookahs. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain.

According to Sherri Stayer, executive director for the Lung Disease Foundation, “There are students as young as 11 and 12 years old being caught with these devices and the sensors will identify youth utilizing the devices and provide for referral to new educational program called INDEPTH “Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health,” which is an alternative to suspension and citation program. The program will be mandatory upon referral and allow for education of the students on the risks associated with the use of the devices.”

As the Tobacco Control Service Provider for Blair and Bedford Counties, the Lung Disease Foundation of Central PA is responsible for providing prevention, education and tobacco cessation programs, as well as working to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation founded by Dr. George M. Zlupko. The foundation is located in the Lung Disease Center of Central PA at 800 Chestnut Ave., Altoona.

For more information on the Vape Sensors, education programs available for students, parents and school districts, and Cessation Programs, contact Stayer by calling 814-946-2845 x 200 or emailing sherris@altoona



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