GRANTS PASS, Ore-- The use of e-cigarettes and vaping by teenagers is being called an epidemic. North Valley High School is trying to combat that problem with education.
You can usually spot someone vaping or using an e-cigarette because of the clouds of smoke. The problem is those clouds are now coming more often from some teens and kids.
Erik Lathen the principal at North Valley High School says, "well it's obviously a national trend."
He along with the teachers and staff are trying to lower the use.
Lathen says, "one of the things we've done here at our school we partnered with Juvenile Justice here in Josephine County, to go ahead and provide interventions for those that are vaping."
Shawn Martinez is the Manager of the Prevention and Treatment Services at Juvenile Justice.
Martinez says, "the perception of harm has gone down." When the perception of harm goes down, we see higher rates of use. Martinez says, "the reality is there is just not a ton of research on it."
There isn't as much research on what is in the vape or what are the long term effects. Compared to the research that's been done on regular cigarettes.
Lathen says, "the literature that I've seen is teens don't understand some of the health risk."
He is also working with parents on this growing problem as well.
Lathen says, "Maybe the most important thing that we've done is we've tried to partner with our parents and we've communicated our concerns about vaping."
He goes on to say that most teens don't even know what is in the vape or e-cigarette that they are using. It could be nicotine, hookah or even marijuana.
Lathen says, "so we need to do our very best to try and minimize the impact of e-cigarettes and vaping in our community."