With flavors such as "Captain Crunch," "Bubble Gum" and "Cotton Candy," e-cigarette use, also called vaping, is pervasive among both high school and middle school students.
The U.S. Surgeon General reports E-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students increased 900% during 2011-2015.
According to Dublin City Schools drug and alcohol counselor Carly George, "Vaping is a huge epidemic and teenagers do not fully understand the health ramifications."
Ohio recently passed a law prohibiting tobacco product sales to anyone younger than 21 years old.
Michigan legislators recently passed a law to ban all flavored tobacco vaping products in an effort to reduce their appeal to teenagers. The federal government is also considering restrictions on flavored tobacco vaping products.
What are school districts doing to quell this problem?
According to the Ohio School Boards Association, the use of vaping products is an increasingly difficult problem for school districts.
The association's Kenna Haycox said most schools have policies they developed prohibiting e-cigarettes, but they are hard to enforce.
"It's the valedictorian, the starting quarterback, it's the head cheerleader, it's the head volleyball player, the baseball pitcher," Haycox said. "These are good kids, athletes and none seem to worry about the health effects of e-cigs."
Central Ohio school districts are increasing proactive measures for all students with a focus on health and addiction rather than on strict disciplinary repercussions.
Some districts are also installing Wi-Fi-enabled vape detectors. The sensors are placed in bathrooms and resemble smoke detectors and are designed to detect e-cigarettes vapor via changes in humidity and air content.
Dublin City Schools has considered these devices, but has made no determinations.
Many schools understand the vital importance of educating parents about vaping.
Our Parent University program includes opportunities to educate parents about the dangers of vaping.
This strong school-to-parent communication continues all through the year with programs presented by Parents Encouraging Responsible Choices and Dublin A.C.T. Coalition -- important community partners in prevention and education efforts.
Peer-to-peer interactions are also very important. In Dublin, students -- in school (Teen Institute) and out of school (Dublin A.C.T) -- provide education and prevention programming.
Dublin City Schools has been conducting student vaping awareness/intervention workshops since the beginning of last school year.
Because of the rise of vaping among teens, we have developed an educational workshop specific to vaping by students along with their parent/guardian.
Data collected through the 2017 OHYES! survey showed 11.6% of Dublin Schools students in grades 7-12 had vaped within 30 days of the survey, up from 9.2% of students in 2015.
In addition, code of conduct violations for vaping have been on the rise over the past year.
In response, staff members provide a monthly workshop specific to building awareness and providing intervention for students who have been recommended.
Most importantly, schools and parents must be consistent in their message. At home, a most-effective deterrent is to talk regularly with your teenagers about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
Dublin City Schools Board of education member Stu Harris submitted the School Notes column.