They’re addictive and they can kill. Vaping is at epidemic levels at Tampa Bay area middle and high schools.
Along with their biology book, pencils and paper, more and more students are packing a Juul or other e-cigarette to sneak puffs between classes.
Seminole High School parent, Mike Ray believes parents need learn what their students are up to. “Just getting the parents up to speed on what the kids are facing every day is incredibly important” he said.
That’s the reason for a town hall meeting at the Seminole High auditorium.
With vaping up 78% among high school students, many worry, the problem is going to get worse and vape makers are to blame. “They’re appealing to kids. They’re appealing to the younger generation. And they want to market to grow throughout their life” said SRO, Deputy Jeffrey Cuttitta.
Besides cutting into learning time, vaping could have long-lasting consequences.
“It effects their health. It effects brain activity. And we see it marketed to younger and younger children” said Seminole High Principal, Jane Lucas.
Abbe Edmiston, a middle schooler, stays far, far away from students who vape.
“It’s not a smart idea and they should like never even have started trying it” she said.
Vaping can also bring on legal issues, when THC oil is added. ‘Some of them have actually been sent to the hospital as a result of using it” said Deputy Cuttitta.
Deputy Jeffrey Cuttitta has this assignment for parents:”They need to check their rooms, check their backpacks, check their social media, check their phones. Talk to their kids” he said.
Recent crackdowns on vaping at school have put a dent in the problem. But Deputy Cuttitta knows, students are getting better at hiding it.