MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An alarming new study finds a dramatic increase in vaping among high school students.
The U.S. Surgeon General has even issued an advisory about the epidemic.
More than 37 percent of high school seniors say they've vaped.
That's up from just over a quarter of 12th graders last year according to a report released Monday
Tuesday, the nation's doctor declared youth e-cigarette usage an "epidemic."
“We have been seeing it in schools and so we are constantly evaluating our policies and procedures around tobacco, drug use, vaping now which is a new thing,” said Meghan Seay from Health and Wellness Specialist for Collierville Schools. “And so we recognize that it is an issue.”
Collierville Public Schools will soon have a two-pronged plan of attack to help students who may be using the devices that are getting a new generation hooked on nicotine.
“Everything with e-cigarettes, Juuls, and vaping is so unknown and I think that’s the biggest scary thing. for me as a parent as well,” Seay said. “We don’t know what this is going to do to our kids long term.”
Students caught on campus vaping are punished following the guidelines in the student handbook for “tobacco.”
Seay says education is the most important part of the district's plan.
In the spring, the district will roll out a new curriculum called "Catch My Breath.”
“We really like the approach they’re taking,” Seay said. “Really talking to kids about it. Talking to kids about not just say now, but how it can affect your health.”
The e-cigarettes and and Juul prevention program that will first be used in the classrooms of middle and high schoolers, kids the district calls high risk.
Then, it will be rolled out district-wide.
The district says they also want parents to talk to their kids about the dangers since prevention and education start at home.