HINTON, Iowa (KCAU) — With kids back in school, faculty are keeping their eyes peeled for vaping.
In the early 2010s, vaping became a popular past-time for many teenagers, but while vapings popularity still remains high nationwide, the opposite is true in Siouxland, but school officials are still on alert.
“We have not seen any kids vaping this year. When, I think it was at open house, we did see a vape cartridge outside of school. Could be from any adult, student, whatever else. But as far as students, we haven’t seen anything at this point,” said Phil Goetstowers, principal at Hinton High School.
“I don’t think it’s popular at all in our school, I feel like it’s more of like a trend, so like at our school I feel like people don’t really do that stuff here. And I think we’re more cautious of the side effects and what is going into our body,” said Natalee Junck, a senior at Hinton High School.
Junck said both teachers and students work together to keep vaping out of the school.
“We really push no vaping. Our school is very aware of what the trend is so they try and stop it before it becomes a problem in our school,” said Junck.
“A lot of times, it’s just kids telling us, letting us know that other kids are doing this in the bathroom or they have it on them,” said Goetstowers.
Goetstowers said stopping teens from getting their hands on vapes is hard, but spotting them can be worse.
“It’s kinda the hot item and it’s getting easier for kids to get access to by, you know, older friends, siblings, whoever else,” said Goetstowers.
“You can get them in a lot of different types of devices, so we don’t always know what device we’re looking for. It might be that, you know, the traditional looking vape pen, or it could be actually a pen that looks like their using a pen to write in class, it can be the form of like a USB. So that’s the first thing that’s hard to detect,” said Julie Clausen, a counselor at Hinton High School.
Clausen said many students do not think of the health complications e-cigarettes bring.
“They look at vaping as less significant or less harmful, even though they’re showing us, like the JUUL may have the equivalent of 20 cigarettes of nicotine in a JUUL pod. But they’re somehow not associating the dangers of cigarettes smoking with the dangers of vaping. They’re not making that connection right now,” said Clausen.
“I think it’s personally just because they wanna follow the trend and they think that it’s cool to do that. And they’re not like, ‘Oh I’m gonna look at the health part of it,’ they just think,’Oh it’s cool so I’m gonna do it,'” said Junck.
On top of schools vaping policies, e-cigarettes are illegal for minors and students caught with one on school grounds could face a fine of $325.