Vape detectors cause concern

Administration and deans respond to uptick in vaping on campus


Ayomide Akintola

Less than a month into the 2022-2023 school year, vape detectors were installed in all student bathrooms throughout the school. As a result of complaints from students and parents, the deans outlined what they are doing to keep students safe on January 9th, 2023. 

The email stated: “When a vape is detected (via a particulate-spike in the air), a notification is sent to safety team members in the building. When the safety team member responds, students present at the time of the notification may be subject to an examination of possessions.”

Assistant Principal, Julian Jones, said, “We had students who wouldn’t use certain bathrooms because that’s where everybody vapes.”

Even though vaping has been linked to poor mental health, many students continue to vape. One senior student, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “I’d been stressed out [when I started].” Stress often leads people to make irrational decisions that can often cause harm. 

Although there are many downsides, vaping still attracts young people. “[It feels] like stand[ing] up too fast and you feel[ing] dizzy, but you like it,” the senior went on to say. According to the CDC, while in the body, nicotine and other compounds within vapes act as a source of adrenaline, spiking the blood pressure and heart rate of users momentarily.  

“I started vaping in seventh grade,” said a freshman. At first many people don’t notice the effects of vaping, but over time [the effects] start to present themselves. 

The senior student acknowledged, “I definitely used to have an addiction.”

Now that we’re well into the school year, the sound of vape detectors has become a regular aspect of students’ lives alongside the deans and security officers who receive alerts immediately after they sound in restrooms.“[We] get about 20 to 30 alerts a day,” said Coach T, a security officer. 

“Young people can’t understand [the consequences of vaping],” said assistant principal Julian Jones, “the only thing we can do is to educate…and deter as much as we can.”