BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL)- With vaping numbers on the rise across the U.S. and here locally, school leaders are hoping to keep parents in the know about health concerns with vaping.
Tuesday night the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition hosted a forum for parents at Tennessee High School.
“They’re extremely addictive and so they’re cheap to get, easy to get easy to hide and they’re the cool new thing with kids, they have just exploded,” says Sullivan Co. Anti-Drug Coalition Prevention Coordinator Melony Ison.
With violations quadrupling in the last year, Principal Kim Kirk says she knew that something had to be done.
“We’ve started seeing more young people vaping, and started seeing it in the school and we’re concerned with all the health risks and things associated with vaping,” says Kirk.
Tuesday night’s forum was about more than just showing parents the signs and dangers of vaping.
It was about showing them that it’s happening at an alarming rate.
Tennessee High School’s Student Resource Officer Jody Camper recently gave a survey to juniors and seniors about vaping and 16% say they vape.
“The national average is right around 20%, I believe, so we’re kind of close to the national average, a little bit lower,” said Camper during the forum.
School administrators and health officials agree that parents are the key to solving this problem.
Tennessee High School mom, Beth Muncy thinks so too.
“They need to get behind our police officers, they need to get behind our administrators and they need to be the first ones going after this and backing up the schools,” said Muncy.
The forum came just days after the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed that one of the five cases of respiratory illnesses in our region linked to vaping was in Sullivan County.