HOSA Brings Awareness to the Dangers of Vaping


The GEHS HOSA Community Awareness Team with the 15-foot “Mega Lung.”

Jaelen Gordon, Staff Writer

The Greenbrier County HOSA Community Awareness Team is presenting the dangers of vaping to the various elementary, middle, and high schools in the county. Azjah Woods, Madison Boswell, and Jaydyn Boothe are passionate about informing the young minds in our community about the risks that come along with Juuling, vaping, and using other electronic cigarettes. As of press time, they have presented to 1000+ students from Ronceverte Elementary School, Eastern Greenbrier Middle School, Greenbrier East health classes, and the Board of Education Alternative School. I interviewed HOSA member Woods to learn about the team’s curriculum.

We partnered with the American Cancer Society,” Woods told me, “allowing us to use the Mega Lung, which is a 15-foot inflatable lung that shows the damages that vaping and smoking can cause. In February, we plan to host a school-wide health fair to showcase various health issues. We have passed out nearly 200 brochures to community members at football games to spread the word.”

Woods says that when the team presents, they dive deeply into the health risks of using vapes, and described one danger that really stood out to her: bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly known as Popcorn Lung. According to WebMD, “The chemical that gave this condition its nickname is diacetyl. After workers at a factory that packaged microwave popcorn were found to have bronchiolitis obliterans more often than other people, some companies stopped using diacetyl as a flavoring. But it’s still used in some electronic cigarette flavors in the US.” Thus, vaping is implicated in causing this irreversible damage.

Woods went on to describe how children react to the HOSA presentation: “Many of them seem very interested and shocked at the facts.  Some of them seemed to be scared and worried because they either know someone who vapes or they have done it themselves.” 

Many children and young adults vape without knowing about all the chemicals they are ingesting or their harmful effects, so the HOSA team should be commended for letting the community know.