Clearing the Smoke Around Vape Detectors

Some of the most popular places in the school to vape are the bathrooms.

Victorianna Beels

Some of the most popular places in the school to vape are the bathrooms.

Victorianna Beels, Copy Editor/ Business Manager

   Within the last few years, an epidemic has spread across the United States- vaping. I’m sure we have all walked into the bathroom time and time again and noticed the sweet smell of a flavored vape pen. Vapes have been detrimental to teens and young adults, as they are creating a nicotine addiction at such an incredibly young age and increasing the risk that the younger generation will start smoking cigarettes.

   The first generation e-cigarette is credited to a Chinese pharmacist back in 2003. This e-cigarette used an electric element to vaporize the liquid that contained the nicotine diluted solution. This e-cigarette was created as a way to have a safer, cleaner way to inhale nicotine after his father passed away from lung cancer. 

   Although the first model of a vape was introduced in 2003, it would not hit the markets in the Western Hemisphere until around 2006-2007. Even then, these harmful vaporizers did not start catching on until about three years ago, as the technology began to improve and the pens became more and more accessible. 

   Now that vaping has become more and more of a problem in the younger generation, it is affecting schools as students go to various secluded places in the school in order to vape without getting caught. Students tend to go and hide under staircases, in locker rooms, bathrooms, and will sometimes even do it in class when teachers have their backs turned.

   Recently, Midland Public Schools have been installing a small, smoke detector-like device in Midland High School’s bathrooms to deter the students from vaping in the bathrooms at the school. The HALO detector was installed in the high school’s bathrooms at the beginning of the school year. The device can detect a vapor, loud noise, THC and gunpowder. 

   In an interview with MLive, Eric Albright, the Assistant Principal at Midland High School has noticed the detectors making a difference since the beginning of the year. Albright stated, “It’s definitely lower, partially because students certainly know where they are and we understand they’re probably going elsewhere to do that. At the same time, it’s an intended consequence. We don’t want them to vape in school.”

   When the HALO detectors were first installed, the school officials at Midland High School would receive around six to eight detections per week. Now, the device is only getting about one to two detections a week.

The HALO Vape Detector

   This new detector leaves our students wondering, will these detectors be implemented here at LCN? Mrs. Kimberly Rawski, principal at LCN said, “This technology is fairly new and they are still being tested. We would like to see their effectiveness before we make the investment.”

   So if the vape detectors aren’t in sight for L’Anse Creuse Public Schools yet, what are we doing to combat the vaping epidemic? In section one of the code of conduct, it states, “Smoking is the use or possession of tobacco paraphernalia on school property… In compliance with state law, a police report will be filed resulting in a fine in addition to suspension time.” This is a good rule, but little to no teenagers are carrying around a pack of cigarettes with them. 

   In order to keep up with the new and always changing smoking technology, there was recently a new regulation added to section three, “Sale, use or possession of illegal drugs, controlled substances, drug paraphernalia or other substances portrayed as illegal drugs including vape pens, e-cigarettes or any electronic smoking device… In compliance with state law, a police report will be filed resulting in a fine in addition to suspension time. All illegal drugs, controlled substances, vape pens or any electronic smoking devices will be confiscated.”

   Mrs. Rawski said, “I just want our kids to be safe. It is not just about deterring them from doing it at school, it is about educating them to not want to use it in or outside of school.”

Victorianna Beels
Vape Juice is a mixture of water, food grade flavoring, a choice of nicotine levels or zero nicotine, and propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG).