thv11 vaping

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (THV11) — A troubling trend that started taking over schools a few years ago, looks to be shifting.

According to a new report, vaping has been going down in high schools across the country.

"We're always glad to see those kinds of numbers go down," ADH Branch Chief for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, Joy Gray said.

According to Gray, state data follows the national trend of fewer high school students using e-cigarettes. 

She credits new rules with that positive news.

"We have the tobacco 21 law that went into effect federally. So now you cannot just go into a store and purchase when you're 18, you have to do it, you know when you're 21. It's up now. And so we've seen several things be put into place legally, that have helped us out as well," Gray explained.

A new study from the CDC and FDA showed that e-cigarette use in high school students declined between 2022 and 2023 from 14 percent to 10 percent. 

The national and local downward trend is something that Gray hopes will continue.

"Health departments all over the country are really working to put programming in schools and programming in front of us that show them how dangerous is actually this," Gray added.

Over at the Pulaski County Special School District, reducing vaping has been a top priority. 

The district's Pupil Services Director, Dr. Sherman Whitfield said what they're doing has been working and numbers are down this year compared to previous ones. 

"Since the start of this academic school year, we're at a total as of October 16, we're at 96 situations with vapes that have been found within schools," Dr. Whitfield said.

Although they've seen fewer of these incidents, Dr. Whitfield said it's still concerning when high schoolers get their hands on these tobacco products. 

"We've had an instance or two where a student who's received vapes from other students ended up having to go and seek medical attention. So the dangers are there," he explained.

He and Gray explained how although they're heading in a better direction, there's still more work that needs to be done. 

"We just need to keep having very honest conversations with kids about the physical impact, the financial impact, and the fact that they're being targeted with these products," Gray added.

The health department has services available to help anybody trying to quit using nicotine. 

You can call 1833283- WELL or click here.