Inter-Tribal Council working to stop e-cigarette use among students


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – As students across the country head back to the classroom, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan along with the National Native Network are continuing the conversation about e-cigarette use and the effects on students. 

Hannah Bartol is the Program Manager for the National Native Network. She spoke with us about how early youth are getting introduced to these products.

“With vaping, we are seeing an increase in the younger population. I’ve had instances of second and third graders having vapes in schools,” said Bartol.

National Native Network, said they are trying to encourage school curriculum addressing the effects of smoking and vaping, including second and third-hand smoke at home.

“They don’t know much about vaping. They think that its better than cigarettes. You know I’m just smoking the water vapor or it’s just water, not anything else. We know that there’s a lot more nicotine than some cigarettes or harmful chemicals that can cause cancer down the line so we’re trying to drill any information that they’ll take in,” added Bartol.

In a release from the ITCMI, it said in part, ‘The CDC describes e-cigarettes as electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol, or mix of small particals in the air. E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Most have a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid. Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.  Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items. Larger devices such as tank systems, or “mods,” do not look like other tobacco products. E-cigarettes are known by many different names.  They are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).” Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping.”’ includes resources like a quit line and how to get help. Resources about smoking and vaping. It provides information for people in any state.

“In the Midwest region, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and a little bit into Ontario above Lake Superior and down, we’re called the Anishinaabe people,” said Bartol. She explained how tobacco is sacred, and how products like e-cigarettes or commercial tobacco goes against traditional uses.

Bartol said, tobacco is one of the most exploited plants in the entire world. She spoke about how anyone can be an ally for native communities.

“Even if you don’t personally align with that or just personally practice that. Just understanding that there is another world behind this plant that other people use and other people keep sacred. Do your part. Whether it be quit smoking or informing yourself about the different uses of this plant. “

If you or your teen would like free help to quit using e-cigarettes, Native Americans in Michigan may call 1-855-5AI-QUIT (1-855-524-7848) or visit for free culturally tailored quit coaching.  You may also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free help.

US Food and Drug Administration:
2018 NYTS Data:  A Startling Rise in Youth E-cigarette Use

CDC Fact Sheet: 
Electronic Cigarettes:  What’s the Bottom Line?

Teachers and Parents:  That USB Stick Might Be an E-Cigarette

Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

CDC Fact Sheet:
E-Cigarettes Shaped like USB Flash Drives

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