By choosing to hand in their vape and tobacco products on Mondayduring the Hand It In event from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Paul Derda Recreation Center, teens who live in or go to school in Broomfield will receive a free rec center pass valid through Labor Day.
In a release from Public Health Communication Specialist Zoe Lemieux, a statistic from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is quoted as saying 35% of 16 and 17-year-olds and 25% of youth under the age of 15 in Broomfield and Boulder said they “definitely or probably will use an electronic vapor product anytime in the next year.”
“There is emerging research that shows a concerning link between youth mental health and vaping,” Adrienn Hollonds, a Public Health Educator in Public Health and Environment, said in the release. “Youth vaping is associated with mental health issues like anxiety and depression. On the flip side, quitting vaping and other tobacco products can improve mental health and mood.”
Hand It In was previously held in 2019, where 17 teens turned in their vapes and tobacco devices in exchange for the free summer pass.
“The idea is to trade an unhealthy habit for a healthy one,” Recreation Supervisor at Recreation Services Veronica Mueller said. “We’re not here to judge, we just want the children in Broomfield to live the happiest and healthiest lives they can. What better way to do that than by exercising and having fun with your friends this summer?”
The event will also properly dispose of the material, as vape pens and pods are classified as hazardous waste and are not recyclable and cannot be thrown away, according to the release.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize that vapes and e-cigarettes are harmful to the environment and are actually hazardous waste,” Environmental Waste and Recycling Coordinator David Jackson said in the release. “The City and County of Broomfield is excited to properly dispose of what will be collected as opposed to them ending up in someone’s trash can and then the landfill.”
For teens who don’t vape or use tobacco products, there are other opportunities to join the rec centers.
Middle school students can visit Paul Derda and Broomfield Community Center for free by showing their middle school ID on Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m., and can stay as long as they would like. Residents who demonstrate financial need can also use the Reduced Rate Application, which can be found at the front desk of any Broomfield rec facility.
For more information on the Hand It In event, visit broomfield.org/readytoquit.