A Westchester school district is set to install special detectors that can recognize the vapors from e-cigarettes in an effort to curb usage by students.
The White Plains School District has purchased vape detectors, which are being installed in multiple undisclosed locations throughout school grounds. The pilot program comes after similar programs throughout the country.
The detectors pick up chemicals in the vapor and trigger a silent alarm, alerting school administrators that there was a violation.
According to the New York State Health Department, 40 percent of high school seniors and 27 percent of all high school students statewide use e-cigarettes. High school students also use e-cigarettes at rates five times higher than adults over the age of 25.
The Department of Health noted that e-cigarette aerosol users inhale and exhale is not harmless water vapor. Some e-liquids are advertised as nicotine-free, but this may not be true. With or without nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol is unsafe. E-cigarette aerosol can contain:
- Fine and ultrafine toxic particles that can interfere with the growth and work of the lungs and increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma attacks;
- heavy metals such as lead, tin, and nickel;
- chemicals used for flavoring such as diacetyl that can cause a serious lung disease commonly known as "popcorn lung"; and
- volatile organic compounds that can cause long-term health effects including cancer.
Many of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke are also found in e-cigarette aerosol. They include:
- formaldehyde, also found in embalming fluid;
- cadmium, used in batteries;
- benzene, found in gasoline; and
- toluene, an industrial solvent.
New York became the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes. this week. There have now been seven vaping-related deaths reported nationwide.
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