Parents should be aware of JUUL dangers

It’s that time of year again. If they haven’t already, many parents will soon be taking their kids shopping for new clothes and school supplies or making a plan for juggling their kids’ after-school activities.

One more item for parents to think about is how they can help their kids stay tobacco and nicotine free this school year. While monitoring your child’s tobacco use used to be as simple as smelling their clothes for smoke, new tobacco and nicotine products are making the task more difficult.

While fewer Wisconsin students are smoking than ever before (only about one in 11 high school students), more are using e-cigarettes and products like JUUL, a device that looks like a USB drive that packs a high amount of nicotine in a small package. One JUUL packet contains as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes!

Sadly, candy flavors and lower costs lead some kids to think smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes are harmless, when the truth is that they can carry serious consequences. In fact, recent studies show that e-cigarettes can still produce cancer-causing chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. In addition, use of these products predicts smoking cigarettes just one year later.

The Tobacco Free Columbia Dane County Coalition and Waunakee Community Cares Coalition are working to reverse these trends. I’m working to help our kids avoid this dangerous addiction, but we can’t do it alone. To learn more about our efforts or get involved, visit Working together, we can create a healthier Waunakee.

Jodie Sorenson

Julie Anderson was not just a victim

When does a murder hit home? For many of us in Waunakee, we have been insulated from that tragedy due to good policing and plain luck. Friday night’s killing of Julie Anderson brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds. Julie was a friend and co-worker many years ago. She was hard working, funny, kind, feisty and had a strong sense of right and wrong. Her job then was to take client calls directly from food stamp and AFDC recipients. It was challenging work, but Julie did it competently and with a good sense of humor. We talked about our kids when we worked together; basic mom stuff. Julie loved her daughter with her whole heart. At the time we worked together, Whitney was her only child. After we moved to Waunakee, Julie stopped a few times to chat while I was walking the dog. She spoke with so much love of her son. Laughingly she said that driving him around to extracurriculars was a lot of work, but busy kids are happy kids. No time to get into trouble, she joked. Her optimism in the face of many trials was an inspiration. She was a giving person and I hope that people remember her for her life. I don’t know if it would have made a difference in this situation but easy access to guns means that an argument can so easily turn into a death. I grew up in the country and am not against guns. Hunting put food on the table for many, but the proliferation of guns has led to a culture of violence. I am so proud of Waunakee’s response in setting up a memorial fund, and appreciate the police officers and first responders who dealt with this tragic situation.

Linda Ashmore

Housing task force needs members

You might have noticed in the Tribune last week that the village is seeking citizens who are interested in serving on a housing needs task force. I highly encourage any village resident of any age, particularly those in the older areas of town, to fill out the online application on the village website or talk to someone at Village Hall if you are interested. Please take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about the housing issues the village is facing and help shape Waunakee’s future. The window to apply is short, so please don’t delay.


Sam Kaufmann

Waunakee High School student

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