ROCHESTER, Minn- Dozens of students might enjoy vaping but the Minnesota Department of Health, Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, and other non-profits are trying to get them to teach their peers the dangers of it. To help raise awareness of the dangers vaping causes, the state department of health partnered up with other non-profits and Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota to launch "Escape the Vape Video Challenge", a contest to engage students across the state and have them show their peers what happens when they vape.
"It's a great way for peers to be their own champions and encourage folks their age to not vape or use tobacco products," explained Luke Ewald, a preventative health educator.
According to Ewald, vaping is an epidemic and an issue in Minnesota schools. It also puts nicotine, which is capable of harming young brains, in the respiratory system. Since the brain is still developing for teenagers, nicotine exposure can also lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning.
Students taking part in the challenge can create a video showing the dangers of the addictive habit and submit it on the contest's website.
"They can be creative and original as you want," said Ewald. "Just have fun with it."
Contestants can start submitting their videos on February 1. The deadline to submit is no later than February 28 and the winners will be announced on March 24. The winner who comes in first place will win a $500 cash prize for themselves and their school or organization.