Cambria takes aim at vaping in schools

Updated: October 16, 2019 09:03 PM

"They lied, we know," that's the catch phrase of an ambitious new anti-vaping program rolling out soon from one of Minnesota's most prominent locally-owned companies.

"We talk to people all throughout the state and they're having a real challenge with this issue with kids vaping which ends up being a gateway to other activity that's just as bad or worse," Cambria President and CEO Marty Davis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Wednesday.

That's one of the reasons Cambria is starting a program called "Escape the Vape" with the slogan, "They lied, we know." That's a message aimed at marketers of vaping products who initially said vaping was a "safer" alternative to smoking.

The other reason Cambria is getting involved is because many employees have kids in high school facing constant pressure to vape.

"People are getting sick," said Sarah Lien, a Cambria employee with three kids at Minnetonka High School. "They're dying. Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts and everywhere in between. We know now this isn't safe."

MDH: 2 more Minnesotans die due to vaping complications

Students we talked to said vaping is prevalent at Minnetonka High School and others.

"A lot of the people you don't think maybe do it really do do it," said Luke Tollefson, a senior at Minnetonka. "And a lot of times I've been asked, 'hey, you want to go do this with me? Want to go vape?' They offer me a hit ... it's just a lot of peer pressure."

Junior Mason Blasing said some of his friendships have been impacted by his refusal to vape.

"It's just ignorance," Blasing said. "I don't understand why you'd be ignorant to the fact of all these health risks that are now appearing."

The Minnesota Department of Health also announced Wednesday that two more vaping death have been reported in the state. Anne Davis of Cambria said that's another reason why it's so important to spread the word in local high schools.

"What we're trying to do is educate the students," Davis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "We want to give them the information so they can make the smart decisions not to vape."

The anti-vaping program will start at Minnetonka High School with an informational display in the school, t-shirts and a website with more information for parents and students. The company hopes to expand the program into other school districts.

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Tom Hauser

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