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Your Next MUST Read: The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

by | Jul 9, 2023 | RE@L StudentCorner | 0 comments

Include me as the surprised one when I was recently made aware of The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Initially I was certain that someone was making a trial run a title for a new zombie movie!

I was surprised that a report of such nature existed. The title alone does not cause one to want to dive in and start reading, does it? And yet, I suppose there are people somewhere who watch their inboxes waiting with baited breath for the next issue to be announced. Who are these people? Mortician wannabes? Boris Karloff look-a-likes? Vincent Price understudies?

Count your RE@LBlogmeister™ as one of these — NOT a Boris Karloff look-a-like or a mortician wannabe or a Vincent Price understudy. No, your RE@LBlogmeister™ paid close attention to the June 23, 2023 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which included the following article:



There area many takeaways from this report. Read the report here to get a broader understanding of the data presented and draw your own conclusions.

Here’s a superficial, first-blush observation from your RE@LBlogmeister™: at a time when the country was in the grips of a pandemic and school administrators, in turn, were required to shut down schools and continue efforts through online channels, the sale of e-cigarettes increased by 46.6%!

Yes. When our schools became busy with the unprecedented tasks of shuttering our doors in support of remote learning, the use of e-cigarettes increased! Who had time to notice?

The report should serve as another rude awakening to the increased use of e-cigarettes by our youth and young adults who statistically have a much higher rate of e-cigarette use than adults.

Further, the report shows that the purchase of disposable e-cigarettes increased dramatically during this time as well, which could mean that fewer and fewer students are carrying a vaping device on their person.

As you know, schools are not completely ignoring the use of e-cigarettes on campus. Many schools are using bi tobacco settlement dollars to install vaping detectors in bathrooms. See our May 7, 2023 RE@LBlog™, Hey Minnesota! We See You! What’s Next? to read more about that. Bottom line: it’s not enough. 

Perhaps it will always be necessary to adopt some technical system which can be used to catch e-cigarette users in the act. But we all know that education is — and always has been — the best deterrence to nicotine addiction.

It’s why at RE@L, we stand strongly behind our web-based anti-nicotine graphic arts story, 1Up On Vaping™. Designed with middle school students in mind, 1Up On Vaping™ inserts the student as a character who must navigate the storyline to understand the perils of teen nicotine use. It’s fun. It’s engaging. And students like it. 

Where most educators find success using 1Up On Vaping™ as a complement to their classroom instruction, 1Up On Vaping™ can also be used as a stand-alone curriculum which students complete at home or at school.

If we continue down a path about teen nicotine addiction with the assumption that ‘this too shall pass’, we will have missed the boat. This data from the CDC should raise alarms that our work has not passed. Our work has just begun.

To learn more about RE@L’s 1Up On Vaping™, click the banner below.

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Randy Nelson


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.