The National Institute of Drug Abuse indicate that teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than traditional ones, and further, statistics show that children as young as 14 are using. This is dangerously alarming, especially in light of the vaping crisis.
The Center for Disease Control reports that as of October 1, 2019, there have been 1,080 lung injury cases associated with vaping products in 48 states, and that 18 deaths have been confirmed in 15 states. Moreover, 16% of those affected are under the age of 18.
In light of the health crisis and vaping dangers affecting teens, the Utah school district has decided to install vaping detectors in bathrooms, according to a KUTV report. The report also indicates that parents and students received emails about the vaping detectors, and informing them that the technology could lead to a meeting with the principal.
Adam Hagen, the Assistant Principal of Wasatch High School, shared with the news station that here has been an increase in vaping cases, and that vaping is the method of choice for high schoolers. Forty vape sensors were purchased by the school district and were installed in the high school and middle schools. The detectors are able to pick up vape and cigarette smoke.
Similar devices are being placed in schools around the states. Reportedly, as many as nine school district contracted to purchase vape sensors. The vape sensors are costly as well. For example, Grand School District reportedly spent over $7,000 on the sensors.
Schools in Utah are not the only ones that have installed vaping detectors. Ridgefield High School in Connecticut reportedly installed fourteen electronic vaping detectors, some of which have been specifically installed in bathrooms. The school administrators reported that during the 2017-2018 school year, the detectors caught 24 students possessing a vape devices, and in the previous year, there were 15 incidents. Like in Utah, the sensors have been expensive for the Connecticut school.
Superintendent Dr. William Collins stated in the report that the each sensor costs $995, and has an additional software setup fee of $495. However, the make and model of the sensor were not identified. However, the sensors are able to identify whether one is vaping in the vicinity, and if so, an electronic alert is sent to the school officials. Interestingly enough, the sensors are also able to detect sound, which may provide notice of bullying incidents.