LRHS Pilot New Tech: A Vape Detector


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LRHS continues to take a stand against vaping – this time with a vape detector.

Vaping, an activity that has become extremely prominent in the lives’ of teens for better or worse, may be largely halted from taking place in Lakeland Regional High School’s bathrooms very soon as the district does a trial run on a new technology: vape detectors.

For Lakeland, the main method being implemented in order to enable this process is the installation of vape detectors in bathrooms, starting with the girl’s bathroom next to the cafeteria. According to Vice Principal Mr. Ron Finkelstein, “They [the detectors] register the amount of vapor that is exhaled. Once this reaches a designated level, an alert is sent out.” An alert meaning a message sent to administrators.

The vape detector on the ceiling of a girl’s restoom. (Taylor Severs)

This is just one method in a long line of attempts to curb these activities from taking place, including signing in and out of the bathroom; however, the efficacy of these detectors in schools is yet to be determined, but it is certainly something that will be on the mind of staff members and administrators for the foreseeable future. “The main goal is to get students to maybe think twice before vaping,” Mr. Finkelstein explained.

This is more than just a local happening, as several states such as Michigan, Indiana and Virginia among others have begun to make these a common addition in their schools.

Vaping has become a strong concern for administrators, particularly in high school settings. The activity itself has seen a dramatic rise in frequency all across the world as the rough estimate of users has increased from seven million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018, according to The Check Up. This number would again greatly increase as it was determined that this number would go to 55 million users in 2021. As a result of these numbers rising at such a rate, many schools feel that changes need to be made in order to prevent this from taking place as frequently in the buildings.