Wareham Middle School classroom health lessons aired in CNN piece on e-cigaettes

By Matthew Bernat | Aug 11, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Wareham Middle School health teacher Harriette Sullivan prepares for a lesson before a CNN camera starts filming in her classroom in March.

Five months after a CNN cameraman visited a Wareham Middle School health classroom, footage has made it online for a brief piece on teen use of e-cigarettes.

The eight-minute video, titled “JUUL and the vape debate,” is on CNN’s website now. Parts of the video show health teacher Harriette Sullivan educating students on resisting peer pressure, the dangers of e-cigarette use and misleading advertising tactics.

The video also features interviews with public health officials, a spokeswoman from JUUL – a leading e-cigarette manufacturer – and teens.

Sullivan’s lessons were part of a free curriculum provided by CATCH My Breath, a Texas-based nonprofit focused on children’s health. The group’s e-cigarette campaign launched in 2016.

CNN approached Wareham Middle School on the recommendation of a CATCH My Breath program manager who learned the lessons had a direct impact on a Wareham student. Based on what seventh grade student Kaylee Allen learned from Sullivan, she became aware of the addiction threat e-cigarettes pose. She turned down an offer to try one of the devices, which deliver a hit of nicotine with flavors such as gummy bear, mango and fruit medley.

The video ends with Sullivan asking students: “How many of you have the skill set to say ‘no’ if someone offers you an e-cigarette?”

All students raised their hands.

“Nice job,” said Sullivan.

To watch the video, click here.

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