High Schools Are Really Freaking Out About the Vape Teens

Image: Associated Press

Adults are in a panic over teenage vaping, which admittedly is a problem. As a vaper myself, I do not recommend teens who have never smoked to pick up Juuling! A nicotine addiction is not a good thing! That said, teens love to vape—and the adults who run our nation’s high schools are coming up with some pretty eyebrow-raising ways to get kids to put down their Juuls.

The Washington Post reports that one school district in Nebraska is now resorting to subjecting middle and high schoolers who want to participate in extracurriculars to random nicotine testing, among other measures.


And they’re not the only ones. According to the Post, schools throughout the U.S. are now adding nicotine to the list of drugs that they test for:

Only about a dozen of the 100 school districts nationwide that contract with Sport Safe Testing Service tested for nicotine before vaping became so widespread, Chris Franz, one of the company’s owners, told the Journal Star. But many more have recently begun expressing interest.

Administrators in Fairbury aren’t the only ones hoping that the threat of random testing will make students think twice about taking a drag on an e-cigarette. In February, the Brock Independent School District in Brock, Tex., voted to add nicotine to the list of substances for which students in grades seven through 12 can be randomly tested. According to the school’s handbook, the policy applies to any students who request a parking permit, as well as any students who participate in extracurricular activities.


Due to a series of Supreme Court decisions, random drug testing of high school students is perfectly constitutional, despite being in my eyes a massive violation of privacy as well as a big downer. But drug testing isn’t all that school districts are trying to get teens to stop vaping. Schools across the country are installing vape detectors—devices similar to smoke alarms—in bathrooms, which can alert staff when students are vaping. Other schools are locking their bathroom doors, and at least one school made the news for removing its bathroom doors altogether.

Good luck in this futile endeavor!

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About the author

Esther Wang

Senior staff writer, Jezebel