Local high school fights teen vaping

SLOCOMB, Ala. (WTVY) -- Slocomb High principal B. T. Hinson knows firsthand how popular vaping is among teenagers—despite being illegal.

A display of confiscated vaping devices at Slocomb High School (Source: WTVY)

“A lot of it in their mind sometimes is it’s harmless," Hinson said, "I’m not doing nicotine, I’m doing a watermelon flavor, or a cotton candy flavor, but they don’t realize they’re inhaling a chemical into their lungs.”

Slocomb High School students see it every day.

“Sometimes going to football games and you’re standing in the bathrooms and you just see the clouds coming up, it’s a constant wait, and it’s just, you know everybody’s doing it," said student Aliza Rodgers.

Hinson knows how easy it is for minors to get the devices—even though there are legal age limits.

“When talking to students they can buy them from other students pretty easily," Hinson said, "I’m not sure what the requirements are when they go to these stores that are selling them but apparently they’re not following through on the state laws.”

Easy access from stores isn’t the only challenge schools face.

“You would be surprised at the number of students we’ve confiscated vapes from whose parents want it returned to them," Hinson said, "you’d be surprised at the number who tell me well I thought that if I provided this then they would use it without nicotine and it would be better for them.”

However, Slocomb high is doing what they can to end the problem.

“We try to have posters and things of that nature up we have periodic checks every time we have students in there. We’ve worked with our police department, We’ve worked with state officers to try and find out what can we do to combat these issues.”