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Q: How can we prevent vaping in our schools?

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A: Teachers and district administrators all over the United States are scrambling to deal with the student vaping epidemic. For people who are not familiar or sure exactly what vaping is https://www.centeronaddiction.org defines “Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles.”

Vaping was introduced in the late 2000’s and has generated a lot of buzz. E-cigarette marketing is aimed at our youth by being packaged in bright colors and promotes flavors like fruit, candy, alcohol or other flavors. Youth and young adults are using e-cigarettes because they are curious, like the taste and believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other tobacco products. Vaping is also increasing in popularity with marijuana users as it disguises the smell and makes it easier to hide.

According to The Surgeon General “E-cigarettes are now the most common used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes in 2014.” The F.D.A. has declared youth vaping as an epidemic. F.D.A Statistics about E-cigarette Use among U.S. Youth:

Statistics about E-cigarette Use among U.S. Youth

• Among middle and high school students, 3.62 million were current users of e-cigarettes in 2018.1

• E-cigarette use, from 2017 to 2018, increased 78 percent among high school students (11.7% to 20.8%) and 48 percent among middle school students (3.3% to 4.9%) from 2017 to 2018.1

• According to a 2013-2014 survey, 81 percent of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.2

How do we take action?

• Educate ourselves about the harms of vaping and nicotine in any form can do.

• Talk with young people about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Tell them you have a strong stance against them using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.

• Talk to our school principals and administrators about concerns with youth vaping. Attend PTA, Board of Education meetings and Town meetings to see what their plans are.

• Request that schools invest in sensors to detect vaping and other chemicals.

Vaping is a problem that’s not going away, and every concerned parent or guardian should get themselves up to speed on this situation and ask their schools if they have vape sensors.

IPVideo Corporation offers a vape sensor that aligns themselves to help schools address this problem. This sensor also detects air quality, room occupancy, aggression, and other chemicals. They are mounted into ceilings in bathrooms, athletic facilities, hallways, and classrooms. School officials will get email and text alerts, as well as digital alerts in video management systems. See if your school has looked into this technology.

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