Sophomore Alyssa Canning looks to raise awareness about vaping dangers

With vaping related deaths on the rise, Canning works to prevent such tragedies at Mill Valley


At a convention with fellow Resist Tobacco members from across Kansas, sophomore Alyssa Canning advocates against vape and cigarette use.

Resist Tobacco is a group that focuses on educating schools to prevent tobacco usage through meetings and educational seminars. Sophomore Alyssa Canning is looking to make a difference through this group, which she has been a member of since last year.

According to Canning, she got involved because she didn’t want to see her peers get harmed by vaping.

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“A lot of people don’t understand how unsafe vaping is. And especially recently, people are dying, and somebody in the state of Kansas died [from vaping],” Canning said. “I don’t want to see any of my classmates or peers or friends die from vaping.”

According to Canning, Resist’s goal is to make tobacco use unacceptable among students. On her own, Canning is trying to get a chapter started at Mill Valley.

“Chapters are the people below the executive committee. They educate people throughout the community,” Canning said. “In Johnson County, they’ll have meetings to educate people around them about what’s going on with vapes and tobacco.”

The next step for Resist is to reach Wichita, where they will hold a meeting about vaping.

There is a lot of pressure. And it’s a little bit scary, because a lot of people don’t want to know [about vaping].

— Alyssa Canning

“We’re planning to have a meeting on November 8 and 9 in Wichita,” Canning said. “We will hold an educational, empowering meeting about vaping, the effects, why you shouldn’t do it and how to stop people in your community from doing it.”

Canning is no stranger to meetings like this, as she met with state legislators at Kick Butts Day this March.

“We talked to legislators about vaping. For example, I went and I talked about raising the age of Kansas when people are allowed to purchase tobacco to 21 instead of 18,” Canning said.

According to Canning, this has also been a major growing experience for her.

“Before this, I have never done a conference call. I hated talking on the phone. But it’s basically just a meeting over the phone,” Canning said. “The leadership and working in a team is a new experience, but it’s a good experience.”

Being in Resist is something that Canning feels proud of, despite the pressure with vaping deaths recently ramping up.

“There is a lot of pressure. And it’s a little bit scary, because a lot of people don’t want to know [about vaping], and they don’t want to talk about what [vaping] is going to do in the future, but now I feel like it’s really important that I’m doing this so nobody dies from [vaping] or gets hurt,” Canning said.

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