RAPID CITY, S.D (KOTA TV) - The dangers of vaping are making headlines. It's marketed as a safer alternative to smoking.
Local schools like Central and Stevens high school is trying to put a stop to vaping. (KOTA)
But in recent months six people across America have died from the use of e-cigarette and other vaping products. And local high schools are seeing an increase in students vaping.
Vaping. A serious issue impacting many. And Rapid City schools are fighting the issue head-on.
"At our school, this is a larger problem than what we would like to see. But we would like to see no one engage in this type of activity, but it seemed to hit a high with our teens," says the principal of Stevens High School, John Julius.
So far this year the school has not confiscated any vapes from students, but last year that was not the case.
"I don't have an exact number of how many. I will say that it was more than what we would have liked to see," says Julius.
To try and prevent students from taking part in vaping, the school partners with Lifeways, which provides counselors to educate students on the dangers of vaping.
"Get as many people involved to support these students as possible. Both on the front end and then after we discover that they are using the product," says Julius.
At Central High School, they are tackling a similar problem.
"Not just catching one. We're catching a group of five. All are sharing one vape and just passing it around," says the school resource officer at Central High School, Matthew Almeida.
Just like Stevens, they have Lifeways counselors. During class, teachers talk about the effects, and the school has a new initiative.
"The freshmen here at Central High School when they get caught with a vape for the first time their detention is an hour with me running the detention. Talking about issues with vapes," says Almeida.
Both schools know this is a problem and are working hard to educate students.