WCS takes wait-and-see outlook on using vape detectors

One out of every ten high school students reported using tobacco products. Just below that — 9.2% of high schoolers surveyed — said they use e-cigarettes. Photo by Getty Images.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — As vaping continues to be a major concern among school and health officials for young people, some school districts have turned to the use of vape detectors as a way to deter the use.

Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said they’ve considered the use of vape detectors but said it’s certainly not full proof.

The first drawback is that students can easily vandalize the devices, making them inoperable.

“They can be damaged and they can not have the sensitivity level,” Hoffert said. “It’s amazing the technology that goes into vapes.”

Hoffert said they might consider using such devices in the future if merited, but said monitoring students with personnel still remains the best strategy.

He noted that the school district recently added a fifth school resource officer and that  that could help combat the issue.

Some educators say the can pick up the scent tobacco or cannabis, but the smell of vaping is less noticeable because it quickly dissipates.

Hoffert said they’ve found evidence of vaping in elementary schools and added the some of the problems start at home.

“You know what, a lot of times when things happen, it’s because the elementary kid has grabbed something off mom and dad’s counter,” he said.

According to a story by the Associated Press, smoking and vaping rates are almost reversed for teens. In recent years, only about 2% of high school students were smoking traditional cigarettes last year, but about 14% were using e-cigarettes, according to other CDC data.