Concerns over more and more students vaping at school

How big a problem is vaping among students at schools?

Some school organizations and health authorities are sounding the alarm to the Journal de Montreal about the growing phenomenon of students vaping on school property, even in the classroom.

The Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board tells CJAD 800 they have noticed an increase in students who are vaping on school property, though not in class. 

The board said many of their high schools have sent letters to parents this winter informing them of what it calls "a disturbing trend" and "informing parents of the dangers of vaping."

The Quebec English School Boards Association said it has heard nothing about the issue.

Westwood Senior High School teacher Catherine Hogan said some students even do it in class, with small vape pens and smokeless devices so it can be a challenge to catch them in the act.

"It's an epidemic," said Hogan.

"It is most definitely not just my school. Teachers, colleagues of mine, we talk about it together all the time."

Hogan is concerned for young people who have never smoked before and that vaping may be a quick path to nicotine dependency.

"They just don't see the consequences of it. They say, Miss, it's just water, it's just water with fruit flavours, it's not a big deal, I'm not smoking cigarettes," said Hogan.

Westmount High teacher Robert Green said it's hard to assess the scale of the problem at his school but "we have heard that it is getting way out of control at other schools."

Green told CJAD 800 they're "updating their code of conduct to have vaping treated similarly to how the school has handled cigarette smoking."

"We don't want it to get to the crisis level we're hearing it's gotten to in other schools," said Green.

The Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board said vaping is included in its tobacco policy as is cannabis.