Enhancing school wellness: Tackling the vaping crisis with smart detection technology

Vaping has become a growing concern among school administrators, parents, and healthcare professionals alike. The increasing popularity of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices has led to a surge in vaping-related health issues, particularly among young people. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four high school students in the United States reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Vaping poses several health risks, including lung damage, respiratory illness, and addiction to nicotine. These consequences are by no means temporary and can cause serious, long-term illnesses later in life that we are just now beginning to understand

High school students are especially susceptible to vaping as opposed to traditional cigarettes. Vapes are easier to use and hide. They also come in candy-like flavors, some specifically made for younger users.  One of the primary locations for vaping among high school students is the school bathroom. Generally, bathrooms allow students to vape undetected and unsupervised. This poses a significant risk to their health and well-being and the health and safety of others exposed to secondhand aerosol. 

To combat this issue, finding effective solutions to prevent vaping in school bathrooms without infringing on privacy is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the problem of vaping in school bathrooms, its negative impact, and how AI-enabled vaping detection solutions, such as EPIC iO’s Smart Vaping Sensor, can help schools deter, detect, and provide alerts about vaping activity in public restroom facilities.

Preventing Vaping In Your School

Several strategies can be employed to prevent vaping in school bathrooms. 

  • Clear policies and educational campaigns should be put in place to discourage vaping in the first place
  • Increasing supervision and monitoring of student behavior in bathrooms can help deter vaping
  • Designing bathrooms with features that discourage vaping, such as increased lighting, can also be effective 
  • Technology solutions like EPIC iO’s Vaping Detection Solution can detect vaping in school bathrooms and alert school administrators in real time, allowing for immediate action

EPIC iO’s Solution

Our Vaping Detection Solution is a technology-driven approach combining a Smart Vaping Sensor and DeepInsights™, our AI software platform. The Smart Sensor detects vape, smoke and THC and sends real-time notifications when vaping or smoking activity is detected. All activity is logged in DeepInsights™ to provide insights into trends of violations against school vaping policies. By analyzing the data collected, school staff can better understand the frequency and patterns of vaping behavior in their facilities. This can help them identify areas where vaping is most prevalent and target those areas for increased monitoring or intervention.

Additionally, a video or still image camera positioned just outside the bathroom entrance is motion-activated to capture a visual of anyone leaving or entering the room along with a timestamp. The log of detected vaping activity can be compared against the log of visual evidence to identify the culprit and identify repeat offenders.

Schools can take meaningful steps toward addressing vaping by implementing a combination of policy and education, increased supervision, restroom design, and technology solutions like EPIC iO’s Vaping Detection Solution. We urge all schools to take action today to prevent vaping and protect their students’ long-term health and well-being with the help of EPIC iO’s Vaping Detection Solution. Interested? Schedule a call with our team to see how this would work in your school.