Nicotine smokescreen: Vaping at BGHS is a growing concern

On a daily basis, Bowling Green High School administrators are confiscating vaping paraphernalia, and are voicing a growing concern for the practice.

Dan Black, assistant principal, said he has confiscated more than $1,000 worth of vaping devices, juice and pods since August.

“We have to figure out a way to attack that,” Black said at Tuesday’s board of education meeting.

Vaping has been sold to young people as a better alternative to tobacco, but research does not back up that claim. One pod of e-liquid can contain as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes.

“This is a major issue at the high school,” said Superintendent Francis Scruci.

The trend affects freshmen through seniors in the school, which has 875 students, and has been as issue for two years.

Students are using them in the bathrooms, where there are no security cameras, Black said. In response, he is having teachers monitor restroom breaks and visit the restrooms with students.

Staff can check pockets for devices but don’t have authority to do a body search, he said.

“They think it’s a good alternative to smoking,” Black said. “There is the appeal of the vape, when its releases smoke, playing games, blowing circles. It does taste good.”

The district needs to find a way to educate parents and students to combat the issue, he said.

Debbie Reddick, Perrysburg school nurse, recently shared a message with area principals about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

The U.S. Surgeon General reported an increase in e-cigarette use between 2011 and 2015 of 900 percent among high school students, she wrote. Students in middle school and even as young as elementary age are beginning to try it as well, she shared.

“What was initially advertised as a way to help a cigarette smoker stop smoking has become a means of enabling children to become addicted to nicotine,” Reddick wrote.



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