Is that a highlighter? No it’s a vape

D.C. Everest students receive a citation if caught vaping
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT
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SCHOFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - There’s a new warning for parents and teachers to check their kid’s backpacks because while some school supplies may look like the real thing, it could be entirely something else.

A product called the highlight vape looks just like a normal highlighter, making it easy for kids to take in and use at school. Highlighter vapes are easy to get. A kid can lie about their age online and shop for the newest scent and color.

“These products are prevented from coming on the market. Any of these devices are being sold and are available widely in stores and online so that people can easily access them. There are whole teams of creators looking to get the next best product,” said Melissa Moore, owner and prevention specialist with M3 Consulting LLC.

Moore, who is a public health coordinator, says it’s easy to think of vaping as harmless, but in reality it’s just the opposite.

“People don’t what it is that they are actually getting and I think that’s one of the hazards with vapes is the way they are created. They’re meant to be able to draw in with very little discomfort and that nicotine is one of the most powerful stimuli that we can introduce into our body,” said Moore.

The DC Everest School District has certain rules when it comes to vaping. If a student gets caught they get a citation. However, it’s not just about punishment, the district wants to prevent addiction.

“I know the district has talked about getting resources after, AODA, talking with counselors, the after effects, not just slapping a ticket or consequence on them and letting them right back out with no support systems,” said School Resource Officer Abby Behnke of the Everest Metro Police Department.

Behnke works with students every day. She said vaping is affecting their education and it’s also impacting their social life.

“I’ve had conflicts at school because of best friends. Whether it’s in school or out of school and it’s a weight on their shoulders. It’s bad for them and I don’t want to be associated. You know, it’s the conflict between people,” Behnke added.

Medical experts are still learning about the long-term health effects of E-cigarettes. According to the CDC, some of the ingredients in vapes or E-cigarettes could be harmful to the lungs long term.

Most products have recently been regulated by the FDA to only be sold to people 21 years and older. However, products like the highlight vape can be accessed by younger kids, leading to a growing concern about their popularity.