SAN BENITO, Texas – Vaping is becoming a potentially deadly trend amongst teenagers in the rio grande valley. San benito high school along with the cameron county district attorney’s office are trying to put an end to that trend. Students at san benito high school have one simple message about vaping.
Ariel Lopez, high school senior, “There’s been people dying of it and many people have the wrong impression and that it’s safer. Why are we doing this, why do we have to do it to be the cool thing if we’re going to end up in a coma, induced, in the hospital.”
The Skills USA Club at San Benito High School inviting the Cameron County District Attorney’s office to speak about the criminal consequences of vaping. The legal age to smoke in Texas is now age 21 and older, not 18.
Assistant District Attorney Edward Sandoval will prosecute, if someone underage is caught.
“The possession of one vaping vile is equivalent to second degree felony, the kids don’t see the distinction, they think ‘oh i’m just going marijuana this is just a misdemeanor i’m not going to get into trouble’ but they don’t realize it’s felonious conduct.”
The Brownsville Public Health Department shows the rise of vaping amongst teenagers across the Rio Grande Valley. This is a great concern for school districts. The San Benito CISD Police Department says they are having a hard time finding vaping devices.
Officer Marcos Carreon, “They come in different shapes, sizes, different colors. They’re very hard sometimes to be identified because they [students] can hide them.”
Authorities are hoping presentations like today’s will educate students and help them think twice about what they are putting inside their bodies. The district attorney’s office adds if anyone underage is caught, they could face up to 20 years in prison.