Rumpf speaks at Golden K meeting

From left, Kelly Rumpf, health educator with the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department with Orice Walters, Golden K chairwoman. Rumpf talked to the Golden K members on the subject of vaping and how the health department is working with students, schools and parents.

As a rather gloomy day greeted the Golden Kers Monday morning, the lively sound of the piano began to chase the dreariness away. Singing “Oldies” lightens one spirit and soon the room was filled with happy people singing bright and bouncy tunes.

Greeting the guest speaker, Kelly Rumpf, with the welcome song brought a smile from her that helped brighten up the room. Rumpf works with the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, encompassing Dickinson and Iron counties.

Smiles were the theme for the day as Bill Roberts couldn’t help but smile with pride. He just welcomed his 15th great-grandchild, Louis Alan Johnson, to the family on Sept. 19. As if that wasn’t enough, he pulled the winning 50-50 ticket from his pocket and declared, “Must be my lucky day.” John Corson and Paul Ward both smiled about the Packers and the Lions up with their games and then there was Leon Gospoderk smiling — he got three bags of peanuts just because he really likes them.

Dr. Paul Jacobs and Duane Barnard, two Golden Kers, are undertaking a project for children younger than age 12. They are collecting fishing poles from anyone who does not need theirs any longer. They will repair if necessary, get them in good working order and coming next spring they will distribute them. The details are being worked on and will be forthcoming at a later date. Poles can be dropped off at the First Presbyterian Church on Monday mornings during the Golden K meeting. Other options also will be noted later.

Orice Walters as program chairwoman gave this thought for the day — “Calvin Coolidge once said, ‘No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.'”

Then she introduced the speaker, Rumpf. Working with the health department offers its own reward when they can educate the public on health issues and offer resources for keeping people safe and healthy. Rumpf, along with all of us, is learning more and more about the effects of vaping and E-cigarette usage.

With the aid of slides and hand-outs, Rumpf gave an overview of the information gathered to date, what is known and how much more there is to learn about these products and the after-effects on the users. There is a danger to youth, primarly, and adults who choose to use these products.

Young people in the seventh and eighth grades are vulnerable and easy targets for the marketeers. They are lured by appealing ads and yummy flavors, such as gummy bears.

Remember the advertising of cigarettes years ago that made smoking look like it was stylish, relaxing. They did anything to sell their product. They overlooked the need to speak to addiction or health issues that can occur.

Regardless of age, everyone, smokers or not, need to be educated on E-cigarettes and vaping. Children, grandchildren and adults are at risk. Study on what is an e-cigarette, what is vaping. Learn the “tools” used — the young know what to do, how to do it and where to get the necessary equipment, legally or otherwise. E-cigarettes have nicotine and have been around since 2007. Variations included e-hookah and rechargeable versions. Battery-operated vape pens allow users to regulate frequency inhalations. Mods allow other chemicals to be breathed into the lungs. Pod-based e-cigarettes are shaped like USB cartridges and contain large amounts of nicotine. A USD flash disc comes in varying sizes and is easily hid from parents and teachers. One “pod” cartridge contains nicotine equivalent to 20 cigarettes.

Adults need to become informed and know what questions to ask and what signs to look for. Many of the very young think it’s harmless and do not know how addictive this can be. Once the addiction takes hold, the user may then move on to something stronger.

Rumpf has a ton of information and the health department is open to those with questions and in need of solid information. The more adults learn, the better their options are to help their children.

As September comes to an end, the Golden Throats will sing Wednesday at Victorian Pines.

The Golden K program for Monday will be Crystal Hogan and Dawn Kranz. Golden K meetings are open to all. Singing begins at 9:30 a.m., with the program at 10:30 a.m.


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