Whereas New York schools used to track petty thieves, it now appears they are also tracking vapers. Certain schools, like Plainedge High School, are currently testing a vaping sensor system.
The system, called FlySense, was installed in the school bathrooms. The goal is for sensor s to go off as soon as any vapor is detected. Up until now, schools were equipped with cameras outside of the bathrooms. Certain cameras were also equipped with smoke detectors to prevent students from smoking cigarettes.
Cracking down on e-cigarettes
Although minors are prohibited from using e-cigarettes, detecting usage, especially since the vapor can be odourless, is much harder to do than combating traditional cigarettes.
At Plainedge, both the e-cigarette and traditional cigarettes are banned. The goal is to discourage children from using e-cigarettes, which will in turn supposedly prevent them from becoming addicted to tobacco and the associated health risks.
However, e-cigarette manufacturers, like VMR Product, do not agree. According to their president, Jan Verleur, the e-cigarette is not bad for health. It would thus be counter-productive to ban the use of the device for young people. Instead of banning the e-cigarette, VMR’s president says their use should be encouraged. Schools could set up a regulated framework, for example, instead of installing surveillance systems.
Health authorities still have work to do in terms of managing the extremes between banning e-cigarettes and promoting their use as a healthy alternative to tobacco. The question remains: do e-cigarettes prevent young people from becoming addicted to cigarettes, or are e-cigarettes simply a gateway drug?