(Image courtesy of romecsd.org)
When a professional educator writes a blog post filled with false facts and misinformation to the parents of thousands of school children, is it any wonder why the rest of the world laughs at the American educational system? That is exactly what happened last week when Peter Blake, the school superintendent of Rome, New York, posted a blog claiming that teen vaping had increased a whopping 900% in the past four years.
Blake says that he came to this conclusion after reading a Wall Street Journal report entitled “E-Cigarettes Pose ‘Major’ Risks, Surgeon General’s Report Warns.”But perhaps Mr. Blake should do his homework because the WJS article made no such claim of a 900% increase. Furthermore, the article even goes on to refute many of the Surgeon General’s claims from the preceding week regarding teen use of e-cigs. Perhaps Mr. Blake should have read more than just the article’s headline.
NY superintendent Peter Blake needs to do his homework.
Ironically, Peter Blake strongly urges his parental readers to “so some more homework” on e-cigs and vaping technology. He then goes on to make some of the most outlandish statements about e-cigs from any elected politician, federal, state, or local.
“I strongly urge our parents to do some more homework on the e-cigarette prior to thinking that it is a safe alternative for anything. The e-cig has become the gateway drug to more serious things, has shown to stunt brain growth in teenagers, and falsely advertises their product on most occasions.”
“The e-cig has become the gateway drug to more serious things, has shown to stunt brain growth in teenagers, and falsely advertises their product on most occasions. Research is showing that 4-times more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than other forms of tobacco products and on average 40% of high schoolers have at least tried smoking them. Of greater concern that isn't discussed as much about e-cigs is that sellers are constantly finding ways to 'lace' the syrups with other products that are much more addictive, altering, and dangerous than nicotine. “
Sorry, Mr. Blake, but there is no evidence that e-cigs are a “gateway drug to more serious things.” And to which “serious things” are you referring? Shouldn’t an American educator be more succinct?
There is also no evidence that e-cigs “stunt brain growth in teenagers,” at least not to the same enormous extent as combustible tobacco cigarettes, of which Mr. Blake never even mentions.
And when a school superintendent falsely claims that “4-times more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than other forms of tobacco products,” he should probably be fired on the spot. Blake is essentially saying that for every four teen vapers there is only one teen smoker. These statistics are terribly inaccurate, even according to the CDC and the FDA – two of the vaping industries most critically vocal adversaries.
New York Superintendent Peter Blake got it wrong, really wrong. And the thousands of parents of his many students have been horribly misinformed. Was this intentional? Or did he simply fail to perform his own research? Either way, Mr. Peter Blake is not an American educator that we can be proud of.