Doctors Calling for Crackdown on Vaping Devices

The number of students having vape products in school has spiked since 2016, according to Los Angeles school police

Doctors are calling for a crackdown on vaping devices as the number of kids and teens using the products skyrockets.

More kids than ever before are using these electronic cigarettes which can contain nicotine or marijuana and the I-Team found parents and schools are having a hard time keeping up. Parents were surprised when they saw the seemingly every day-looking items are actually electronic cigarettes, some hold up to 50 doses or more of nicotine.

"This one just looks like a pen," said Luz Martinez, a parent.

Added Joseph Yepez: "This one looks like a lipstick container."

The number of students having vape products in school has spiked since 2016, according to Los Angeles school police. "It's easy to hide," said Albert Melena, a drug prevention advocate at the San Fernando Valley Partnership. "There's no smoke. Often times, there's no smell." Inside, there is often a flavored liquid containing nicotine.

In just one year there has been a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high schoolers and a 48 percent jump among middle schoolers, according to the latest national Youth Tobacco Survey. The U.S. Surgeon General called it an epidemic and issued a rare alert for students and parents in December.

NBC4 reached out to the manufacturers of the vapes NBC4 showed parents.

JUUL responded, saying "we are committed to preventing youth access ... and no young person ... should ever try JUUL."

They added that they have "suspended...certain flavor(s)" and "strongly support raising the minimum purchase age to 21."

Luz Martinez said she wasn't prepared. She said her children tell her, "oh, so and so was so high today, and so and so got caught. "I just think, 'well, how did they get caught?'

"I didn't really understand and I'm like, 'How do all of these people get high in high school?' And, I see that now."


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