FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - As calls increase to ban vaping products, several national stores are pulling them off the shelves.
Some vaping businesses are even being accused by federal regulators of using ads to target kids, which the companies deny.
But, recent data Valley News Live obtained shows the number of students caught vaping in the Fargo metro area has nearly doubled since 2016 and the year isn’t even done.
“The most recent youth risk behavior data showed that 33 percent of youth in high school used an e-cigarette at least once in the past 30 days, which was an increase of 2017 which was at 21 percent,” Preston Nesemeire, community health educator at Fargo Cass Public Health, said.
Fargo Cass Public Health collects data on tobacco citations issued at schools.
Since 2016 the number has increased from 28 to 54 as of August 2019 and the year isn't even over. In 2017 the number was 32 and it was 64 in 2018.
According to Fargo Cass Public Health, the citations are mostly for vaping.
Students enrolled in Fargo and West Fargo receive citations when they're busted in school using tobacco products.
In Fargo, students get a citation the first time they're caught. For West Fargo, it's the second time.
“They have to attend a tobacco education program that's instructed here at Fargo Cass Public Health. We talk to them about the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine,” Nesemeire said.
Out of the three public schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area that we filed an open records request with for data, Fargo Public Schools was the only one that told us they do not keep track of students who are caught vaping or with vaping materials.
During the 2018 to 2019 school year, there were 78 kids in West Fargo Public Schools who were caught vaping. Since classes began this year, the number is at 12.
Moorhead Public Schools told us it doesn’t separate its data in school years.
From September 1, 2018 to October 2, 2019, there have been 55 incidents of tobacco usage resulting in discipline with 39 being for vaping.
For those looking for information on getting teens to quit vaping, please visit www.mylifemyquit.com.