JCPS Launches Anti-Vaping Campaign

Educational campaign highlights what “Vaping Equals”

April 23, 2019 — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) joined community partners today to launch a district campaign aimed at educating students about what “Vaping Equals.”

“Vaping equals smoking 20 cigarettes worth of addictive nicotine in one refillable Juul pod,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “Vaping equals devices that may explode while in use. Vaping equals known and unknown health effects.  And while many teens believe that vaping is a safe habit, electronic cigarettes contain nicotine and chemicals and are just as addictive as traditional ones.”

The campaign will focus on educating and engaging middle and high school students about the dangers of ‘vaping’ – inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, or vapor, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.

‘Vaping Equals’ is an intentionally incomplete sentence, Dr. Pollio added. “What does vaping equal? We want students to ask themselves this question and find straightforward answers in their learning environments.”

As part of the campaign, students will complete skills-based health lessons to explore the consequences of vaping, understand how companies in the e-cigarette industry target young people, and give them refusal strategies.  The campaign will also feature information about vaping on posters throughout middle and high schools, via a new website,, and through social media messages.

In addition, community leaders encouraged families and school staff to take an active role in helping prevent teens from vaping, including knowing what these devices look like, how young people are getting them, and how students may be referring to them in text messages or online.

“From the very beginning, my administration has been committed to making Louisville a healthier city, a city of lifelong learning and an even more compassionate city,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.  “In Louisville, we’ve recognized the threat posed by the growing use of e-cigarettes among our young people.  I’m grateful to JCPS for their strong smoke-free policy and for the Vaping Equals campaign to educate students to the dangers of e-cigarette use.”

“The 2016 Surgeon General’s report indicated that e-cigarette use among high school students increased ‘an astounding 900 percent’ from 2011 to 2015’,” said Dr. Lori Caloia, medical director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.  “There is a public health crisis forming if we don’t act now.  The CDC projects that without a trajectory change nicotine addiction and tobacco use will dramatically shorten the lives of 5.6 million children alive today.”