The national increase in teenagers smoking e-cigarettes is upending high schools, with disciplinary incidents increasing and adults struggling to address the health concerns. Fayette County’s school district in Kentucky, for instance, does not keep data separately for e-cigarettes, but disciplinary incidents involving all tobacco more than doubled from 2015 to 2017.
The national increase in teenagers smoking e-cigarettes is upending Lexington high schools as well, with disciplinary incidents increasing and adults struggling to address the health concerns.
Betsy Rains, principal of Lexington’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, estimates that at least 1,000 of her students — half of the student body —are using e-cigarettes. At Lafayette High School, where the incidents of e-cig confiscations has tripled since last year, parent Jennifer McChord was so concerned that she approached Principal Bryne Jacobs about it.
Frederick Douglass High School Principal Lester Diaz, whose staff disciplines students three to four times per month for vaping, said a video production class in the schools’ IT Academy created infomercials for teachers to help them identify vaping materials.