WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In Triad schools, kids as young as third-graders have been caught vaping. This issue continues to be a concern from districts all across our area.
Thursday night, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools partnered with doctors and health experts to talk about what parents need to do.
But, a problem they say they're running into: many parents don't think it could ever be their child.
Experts say every single JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as one entire pack of cigarettes.
The CDC has been fighting the vaping epidemic aggressively for the last year while more and more people using vape products are ending up in hospitals with lung-related illnesses. They say 34 vaping-related deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.
Despite that, kids see vaping all around them.. and they're getting misinformation about the dangers.
"On a day-to-day basis, I see students in bathrooms, hiding in bathrooms, hiding in the locker room, outside of the school, standing where people can't see them...getting off of buses, hiding a bus lots," explained high school senior Dalymar Correa-Ortiz.
"Vape pens are everywhere. We see students with them in our schools. They think that they're slick," said parent and high school counselor Tanya Neal, "You just see a puff of smoke in a crowd and then you have to go figure out where it is."
Doctor Michael Mitchell, the Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Brenner Children's Hospital says, when talking with children and teens, parents should emphasize the lung problems, and how they won't be short term.
Plus, he says, adding other substances has proven to be deadly.
"Specifically we see that the vaping danger is with THC," he said, "So you need to talk to your kids about whether they are vaping THC or vaping period."
Both Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and Guilford County Schools are taking part in the CATCH My Breath program, teaching kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes.