Fresno Unified warns parents about vaping

Fresno Unified leaders are warning parents about the increase in students vaping and the signs of the often secretive but dangerous addiction.

The warning has come after some staff and administrators noticed more students coming to the nurses' office with side effects from vaping.

And officials are concerned about nicotine exposure and other substances that are often put in these electronic cigarettes also known as vaping pens.

The popularity of vaping has reached kids as young as fifth and sixth grade.

So administrators want to educate parents and students now about the health risks.

It's estimated that close to four million youth in America use e-cigarettes.

"It's everywhere. Everyone here on campus... I see everybody do it when they pass by, I just see the clouds," says Ezekial Alvarado, a Fresno City College freshman.

Adds Ivan Torres, another freshman, "You see people wanting to just take a hit before they get out of their car and sometimes they'll just take a hit, put it in their pocket and come back on campus."

The growing popularity and recent vaping related deaths have prompted officials at Fresno Unified to issue a warning about e cigarettes. The district's health services director, Jane Banks, says school nurses are seeing more students in the nurses office complaining of anxiety, some also have a rapid heartbeat and high or low blood pressure.

"It's definitely scary. That's why we want to get the word out there that it's really harmful, even though the flavors are cotton candy, and bubble gum and tutti frutti," Banks says.

Some Edison High alumni told Action News vaping was done more discreetly in high school, behind the backs of teachers and administrators.

"You go in the restroom and that's all it was. It's just people didn't do it in public."

The flyer sent to parents also shows what electronic cigarettes look like- and the accessories that go along with vaping, like cartridges and pods. It also warns them that vaping pens don't smell bad like traditional nicotine cigarettes.

Some students say vaping is easy to hide- and they have even seen it done when teachers turn around. So now, district administrators are schooling teachers about e-cigarettes as well.
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