- School administrators are trying to end students' use of e-cigarettes and vaping by closing or more closely monitoring bathrooms, and some are banning the use of USB thumb drives, such as the JUUL vaping device, which looks like a computer thumb drive, District Administration reports.
- The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is working to convince the federal government to raise the legal age for purchasing vaping and e-cigarette supplies online as well as in person and is also hoping to ban flavored products designed to appeal to minors.
- Some schools are also providing professional development to teachers about the impact of vaping and others are exploring new technology that senses vaping as well as the increases in sounds associated with bullying.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015. In 2017, one third of high school seniors reported having used a vape or e-cigarette. These statistics raise concern as some experts say that nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction, impact brain development, and lead to sustained tobacco use as an adult. Other studies link e-cigarette and vaping to other health effects such as smoker’s cough, mouth sores, and even cancer
Vaping is not only used for tobacco. In 2017, one in ten high school senior surveyed reported vaping marijuana. Vaping disguises the smell of marijuana, making it easier to hide. In fact, according to one survey, “about 27% of high school students who have used both marijuana and e-cigarettes reported using the devices to vaporize cannabis. Those most likely to vaporize pot with e-cigarettes included males and younger students.”
In addition to using technology to sense vaping, school leaders can educate teachers, parents, and students about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping. Schools may also need to update discipline policies to reflect these new activities and increase monitoring of areas where it is likely to occur.