SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Shelby Township school resource officer Jake Lukas spends the majority of his time in schools.
To this day, he’s still surprised by how many kids are vaping.
“The two things we’re seeing the most now are these kind of USB stick style vapes,” said Lukas. “It’s more widespread than I would have thought. We’ve even had instances where it’s been elementary -- we’ve even seen this stuff all the way down at the elementary level.”
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Vaping devices have changed drastically from when vaping began. A modern vaping device is as small as a nonrefillable stick that may look like a USB drive at first glance.
“You use it until it runs out, then you’ll toss it,” said Lukas. “There are a lot of people who think they’re USB drives if they don’t know any better.”
Because these devices are so small, they’re easy to hide. Students are hiding them in waistbands and underwear. Girls have been caught hiding them in their bras.
“Whether it’s their bra strap, or waistband, places they think aren’t going to be searched,” said Lukas.
Parents might recognize the pen-type vaping devices, and kids know that. Kids have been caught taking apart the battery compartment, leaving it behind, and then connecting the exposed wires to an alternative power source.
Officer Lucas said parents need to question what they find.
“Why does my kid have this in their pocket? You know, you’re doing their laundry and, ‘Why did I find this? These wires are not normal,’” he said.
The bottom line is vaping is prevalent and teens are addicted. Parents need to know what to look for.
“When I’ve showed them the devices that are out there, they’ve been just shocked. You know what I mean? They were like, ‘I didn’t even know that was out there. I didn’t know that’s what it looked like. I didn’t know that’s what that was,’” said Lukas.