News and Events

Gilchrist County School District Announces Metal Detectors to Combat Vape Epidemic
May 15, 2022

The Gilchrist County School District recently issued a letter to all parents within the school system of their latest plans to help aid in the vaping issue that has been sweeping through the schools. The letter stated, “starting immediately, we will begin to use portable metal detectors to help find hidden vapes as needed.” This action comes from the continuous rise of tobacco vape products on school grounds. Students have been caught with the products, using the products, an even selling them to other students.

Within Gilchrist County a whopping 37.2% of school age children having tried a vape at least once and 25.0% of students being active users of these products, we have seen a sharp rise in the use of electronic vaping devices in a short amount of time within the county. These numbers were taken during the youth tobacco survey done in 2020, now two years later these products are even more popular amongst the youth and these numbers are probably higher than previously reported.

These metal detectors will be used only when a student is expected to be in possession of these products or other students report one of their peers. The metal detectors are necessary due to the number of products available to conceal vaping devices or vaping devices disguised as everyday objects that could be passed over during checks. Some of these products coming out to conceal vaping devices include phone cases, highlighters, vape watches, inhalers, and even vape backpacks (pictured below).

With the metal detectors able to aid in the finding of these devices on school grounds is a great tool the best thing we can do to benefit the school aged children within the county is to educate them on the risks that come with the use of tobacco products, teach them the tactics big tobacco companies use to rope in young new users, as well as be vigilant in assuring local retailers are following all laws in place.