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Community spearheads event to educate on the harmful effects of vaping among students

"This really needs to be brought to everyone's attention."

That's what Sally Miller, co-president of LOJHS Parent Club, thought when she learned about vaping at a presentation given by national speaker and founder of the nonprofit Steered Straight, Michael DeLeon.

Miller heard DeLeon speak in September. Afterward, she had a one-on-one meet-

ing with him and hoped for more people in her community to hear what he had to say about the harmful effects of vaping.

"I called up the mayor immediately and I emailed the new superintendent, Dr. de la Cruz," she said.

As a result of those efforts, DeLeon will speak at the Lakeridge High School Auditorium Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 6:30 p.m. Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a coffee chat with DeLeon and local businesses at the Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Jan. 9, at 8 a.m.

Miller has worked to get the word out to the greater Portland area and those in charge of the event are hoping for a good turn out.

"We just want to get the information out," Miller said. "It's a community-wide event."

Vaping products are used by inhaling a flavored tobacco vapor that contains nicotine, the highly addictive substance found in cigarettes.

The Jan. 8 event is sponsored by the City of Lake Oswego, Lake Oswego School District and Family Inspired Recovery, an alternative peer group for those struggling with substance use.

DeLeon partners with the Foundation for a Drug-Free America, which has an office in Portland.

"As a concerned parent if there's anything we can do to educate people, bring up an awareness and help people — that's my whole goal is to help our youth," Miller said. "I have a 13- and 16-year old and I have harped on them but when I heard about this —

and I thought I knew a lot about it — it was really very mind boggling and very frightening.

"(Parents) think 'oh it's not gonna happen to our children,' well you know what, in affluent communities like Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Tualatin, that's where the kids have money and can buy this stuff."


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