LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Thirteen people have now died in the U.S. from a vaping-related illness. It’s a trend that has become dangerously popular even among young people. Now schools are using technology to beat the vaping epidemic.
You can't turn on the TV without seeing a story about vaping. It's everywhere. A new case, a new investigation and tragically, more lives lost. It's a trend exploding among kids. One in four high schoolers admitting to vaping. It's something that for parents, is terrifying.
We do our best to teach our kids about drugs, not to drink and smoke. But now there's vaping.
This is a whole new beast sneaking into our homes and our children's schools. So how do we stop it? Well, one school district in California may be on to something.
A new pilot program is adding vaping detectors in all eight restrooms at Kennedy Middle School, the largest school in the San Francisco Bay area. The new detectors can sniff out the e-cigarette vapor, which is something traditional smoke detectors can't do.
This is brand new technology to help keep kids from vaping without violating their privacy.
"This is not technology that is going to be recording any type of sound or video," said Jorge Quintana, spokesman for Redwood City Schools. "It's just going to know when the electronic cigarettes are being used."
When they are, the vaping detector will send a text alert to teachers and staff. This could be groundbreaking in the fight to stop our kids from vaping.
Right now, hundreds of students across the country are sitting in class using a vape pen. Imagine that for a second ... a student actually smoking in class and no one even knows. It's nearly impossible to see or smell the smoke to having vaping detectors could bring monumental and much needed change.
The solution is only the tip of the iceberg, though. At this very moment, health officials are trying to find out what specific vaping products or ingredients are causing so many people to get sick and even die.
Currently, there are a lot more questions than answers.