ECU Health, Pitt County Schools/Health Department partner on edible/vaping safety

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -A school district and health department in the east are teaching middle schoolers the dangers of marijuana and vape pens.

Students at A. G. Cox Middle School got the chance to watch a skit Tuesday that followed a girl named Sam who ate a marijuana edible and smoked a vape pen.

Pitt County High School actors showed how the edible affected Sam’s learning ability, health and eventually took her life.

ECU Health and the Pitt County Health Department organized the skit along with EMS and the school district.

This comes after several Pitt County students were hospitalized last September after taking THC gummies.

Tobacco and prevention coordinator, Tiffany Thigpen, says it has become a problem in school districts across the nation.

“A lot of schools have been having issues with vaping and gummies are on the rise,” Thigpen said. “We want to get them [students] while they’re young before the addiction sets in and it’s harder to break.”

Sixth grader Dillon Hassell says Tuesday’s presentation opened his eyes to the dangers of drugs.

“I learned that vaping is really bad, even if it’s a better alternative than smoking, but it’s still really bad overall and you still shouldn’t do it,” Hassell said.

Organizers say they plan to do this at every Pitt County middle school and hopefully make it an annual event.

The national poison data system reported 3,054 cases of pediatric cannabis cases in 2021.

That’s a big increase from the 207 cases in 2017.