Vigo County school officials fight vaping with 'Catch my Breath' program

Vaping and e-cigarette usage continues to be a problem for high school and middle school students across the country. Vaping has consistently been in the news the last month and many schools around the country are taking steps to deter students from taking part.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 6:42 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 6:51 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Vaping and e-cigarette usage continues to be a problem for high school and middle school students across the country. Vaping has consistently been in the news the last month and many schools around the country are taking steps to deter students from taking part. 

Vigo County school officials say vaping is still a growing problem within their corporation. They recently teamed up with the Hamilton Center introducing a new education program to combat this problem. They educate students caught vaping through a program called "Catch My Breath" rather than disciplining them. 

Communication Director for Vigo County School Corporation Bill Riley says that vaping numbers are up district-wide compared to this time last year. 30 students have gone through, or are currently going through, the new "Catch My Breath" program. 

"That tells us we are doing the right thing and that students still need to hear about the dangers of vaping--still need to have strategies to get out of vaping," Riley said, "We still feel like catch my breath is an important program and these numbers tell us it's even more important."

Some schools in New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois have taken additional measures to buck this trend of vaping inside schools. They have begun to install vape detectors inside common places for teens to vape during school such as bathrooms. 

These vape detectors resemble carbon monoxide or smoke detectors. Once vaping smoke is detected, a notification is sent to administrators. 

Riley says there would have to be strong evidence that the educational program was not working for Vigo County School Corporation to pursue going this route.

"We're thinking that education can lead the way on this topic," he said, "We are going to let our educational program go through its paces."

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