By Mary O’KEEFE
Electronic cigarettes – e-cigarettes – have been around for decades but did not really become commercially popular until the early 2000s. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that the use of e-cigarettes – vaping – became part of the social landscape.
Though vaping has been touted by some as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, educators have seen vaping as a dangerous distraction. At Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School, vaping is an issue.
“I think it has increased,” said Rosemont Principal Scott Anderle.
Rosemont and CVHS students have contacted their administrators concerned about the vaping in their schools. Bathrooms seem to be the place to go when students was to vape. School Resource Officer Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Scott Shinagawa said restrooms are being watched for evidence of vaping, and he and school administrators try to get to the bathrooms when kids report it is taking place.
“We try to get to bathrooms at specific times,” Anderle said.
Anderle has reached out to other school administrators who are also dealing with the issue, trying to find solutions like installing new camera and vape sensors.
This week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance to ban flavored vaping products, along with traditional menthol cigarettes, in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
On Sept. 20, the LA County Dept. of Public Health “warned about the use of vaping and three cigarette devices as potentially harmful to proper lung function, and urges residents to stop vaping now.”
According to Public Health, as of Sept. 20 there were eight deaths nationally linked to vaping and e-cigarette use. One of those deaths occurred in LA County.