EDINBURG, Texas – A local high school is seeing an increase in students using vape pens on campus. The Edinburg CISD says over 30 vaping related cases have been reported in this school year alone, some ending up in the hospital.
A 100 percent increase in vape pens use among high school students is
what the Edinburg CISD Chief of Police says led to an awareness campaign. It is aiming to teach students about severe consequences physically, mentally, and legally when using these type of products.
Chief Ricardo Perez, “Smoking THC is considered illegal, it’s considered a marijuana product so there’s consequences. If you’re 17 years old you can be charged with a felony, if you’re a juvenile you can be charged with a class a misdemeanor.”
During a presentation this morning, students heard from a health director
who says vaping can cause damage to the lungs as early as the first time it’s used. However, in some cases the damage won’t be seen until a month later.
Diana Davila, Edinburg CISD Health Director, “It’s being seen in a very short amount of time once they start vaping so shortness of breath, chest pain. It’s causing all of these different things because the lungs are not doing what they’re supposed to do which is to take in air and filter and bring in air into the rest of the body.”
Davila adds that vaping affects students academically. Slowing down their ability to think and increases depression and anxiety. A senior student at Vela High School, where cases of vaping have dramatically increased, says she is thankful school officials have taken this initiative because many kids in her school don’t know what they’re inhaling.
Jayda Hernandez, Vela Senior, “It’s so sad to say that this is normal. This is something that we see in high school. It’s so sad that not even kids know what they are doing or taking. It’s mostly peer pressure, you see one person and of course everyone else follows. There needs to be that one person that stops it and that changes it.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 42 deaths from vaping related illnesses, the most recent one this week in Louisiana. According to the CDC the number of vaping related illnesses has rise to over 2,000 cases across the country.