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New Year’s Resolution: The WHO Makes A Bold and Necessary ‘Call To Action’

by | Jan 7, 2024 | RE@L StudentCorner | 0 comments

“The problem with New Year’s resolutions,” someone more witty than I once said, “is that they go in one year and out the other.” There is certainly some truth to this, isn’t there? I mean who among us has not made a New Year’s resolution to bring about change in one’s life? 

Perhaps the most common is the lose weight resolution. It’s no wonder that our digital inboxes are flooded with solicitations about weight loss programs and fitness programs every year prior to the start of a new year. Either they have seen a picture of me and they can tell I need it or they know I’m a sucker for these types of commitments or it’s simply that time of year that resolutions are made and there’s an opportunity to capitalize everywhere. Maybe all three of these are at work!

Nonetheless, it’s rare that a New Year’s resolution lasts a full year. More often than not it’s a few months or a few weeks or a few days and sometimes even less than a day!

But the most successful resolutions are probably those that are well thought out, very necessary, attainable and measurable. 

 

It’s why we should throw our support behind the World Health Organization’s recent (December 2023) call to action on e-cigarettes.

Among the several recommendations, there are some that should be very familiar to readers of our RE@L blog. For instance, the WHO recommends:

  • prohibiting attractive and/or promotional features related to the presentation and packing of the products, such as colours or colouring properties, attractive descriptors and names. See RE@L’s September 10, 2023 blog, “Back-to-School: Have Your Highlighter Ready?”

  • prohibiting device features that permit transmission of information to and from third parties (including manufacturers), such as connections to smartphone apps that could be used to collect personal information, details of use topography, or to remotely control the product. You may recall RE@L’s blog post, “An E-Cigarette With Built-In Age Verification? Be Wary” on August 6, 2023 which challenges the entire notion of yet another unsatisfactory gimmick from a big tobacco company.

  • prohibiting additives that have carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic properties. While this issue has been a longstanding problem with any nicotine delivery system, it has even larger implications for the e-cigarette user. Researchers are only beginning to test and record the number of toxic chemicals found in an e-cigarette (think in the hundreds). Check out our November 21, 2021 blog, “Chemicals! Chemicals! It’s What We Don’t Know That Can Kill Us”.

There are several more recommendations from the World Health Organization here, where you can download the tidy and very usable document. But perhaps the one most important recommendation from the WHO is this one:

….. countries around the world should be sharing information regarding the harmful effects of e-cigarette use with the public.

At RE@L, we stand firmly behind these recommendations, and we believe that the best way to intervene in this struggle against teen nicotine addiction is education. It’s why we’ve made RE@L’s highly engaging web-based product, 1 Up On Vaping™ available to schools across the nation at a nominal fee. With 1Up On Vaping™, students are inserted  as a main character in a three chapter graphic arts story. During their journey, they play games, solve puzzles, and learn about the health consequences associated with nicotine, smoking and vaping.

It’s a great stand-alone curriculum that students can do at home or in class individually or guided by their teacher in large group instruction. Designed with sixth grade students in mind, all three chapters of 1Up On Vaping™ can be completed in as little as three hours or be extended for several hours through projects and puzzles and reinforcement activities.

2024 sits in front of us, and it is ready for some meaningful resolutions. Let’s make the World Health Organization’s Call To Action on Electronic Cigarettes one of them!

Some of our graphics are provided courtesy of pixy.org

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Randy Nelson

Author

Randy Nelson is a retired educator of 38 years. He served students as a high school speech, theater, and English teacher. He served colleagues as a director of curriculum and instruction; and, most recently he served the La Crosse, WI school district as its superintendent of schools. He has a strong leadership track record promoting choice and innovation via unique community partnerships. He currently serves RE@L, inc as its Director of Education.