Glen Rock HS to install scent detectors to discourage teens from vaping

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A New Jersey high school is entering the fight to discourage teens from smoking or vaping.

The administrators at Glen Rock High School say that devices will be installed in the bathroom which will detect if students are vaping.

Electronic cigarette use has gained popularity among teenagers. But vaping has been linked to hundreds of lung disease cases and several deaths. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says that there have been 805 confirmed cases of lung disease tied to vaping – with more than half of hose tied to vaping with THC products.

Nine cases of the illness are in New Jersey, according to the State Department.

In a recent survey, 21% of students at Glen Rock High School said that they did not feel safe in the bathrooms due to e-cigarettes.

RELATED: Rep. Gottheimer announces plan to curb underage vaping 
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"When we started having conversations with some of our student liaisons…they said part of the problem is some kids are in there using and ‘We don't want to be associated with it; we don’t want to make contact with it,’” says Assistant Principal Tina Bacolas.

Bacolas says that cameras in the bathroom were not an option, so they decided to install vape detectors. There is currently a fundraising campaign to get the money to pay for the installation. They are hoping to raise $10,000 to $15,000.

So how do the detectors work?

“They have what is called scent signatures and they've done a lot of work with the most popular companies such as Juul to make sure their devices pick up those scent signatures,” Bacolas says.

Bacolas says that if the detectors go off, the administrators will receive an alert on their phone. She says that she hopes that this will prompt the students to get the help that they need.

"Unfortunately, we've had some incidences where students have been caught with a device believe that they're using a device that only contains nicotine. And then unfortunately when their drug screen comes back, they contain things like amphetamines and so forth,” she says.

The district says that they hope to have the detectors installed by the end of 2019.

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