Using Technology to Help Eliminate Vaping in Schools
Vaping, or smoking e-cigarettes, has become an immense health hazard among young children and teens. According to the CDC, e-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.” The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including: nicotine, ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.
In addition, e-cigarettes that contain CBD oils and worse, extracts from marijuana including THC, are readily available to kids everywhere. There is no way to know if the kids and teens seen with vaping equipment are merely vaping nicotine or if they are getting high in plain view.
The Surgeon General’s Advisory says in 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain – which continues to develop until about age 25. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can impact learning, memory, and attention. Using nicotine in adolescence can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
As districts try to crack down on vaping and stem the epidemic, a collaboration from Ruckus Networks and Soter Technologies is using technology to help schools identify the problem.
According to Derek Peterson, the CEO of Soter Technologies, “In working with Ruckus we created a turnkey seamless solution that allows schools to deploy what we call a fly sensor into the bathroom that detects if kids are vaping. With the Ruckus networking back-end and our front-end sensors, we now are helping schools understand what's going on in a location where we typically cannot put a camera and/or a microphone.”
“Vaping is the use of e-cigarettes in schools and unfortunately many schools are trying to eliminate that today by extending their teachers and faculty to try to monitor this kind of behavior in areas where you may not be able to put cameras or other types of devices because of privacy issues,” said Erik Heinrich, head of Global Education at Ruckus. “So what Ruckus is trying to do is ensure that we provide a platform for innovation for things like environmental sensing that would allow schools to solve this problem in a more automated fashion and relieve pressure from teachers and let them really focus on their job. And that's why we've partnered with Soter technologies.”
The partnership is working wonders for schools. To find out more and see how you might use technology in your school to curb the onslaught of students vaping, click on the video below.