Parent Alert June 2024

Using Vape Detectors for Prevention

2.13 million youth reported using e-cigarette products in the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Educating students on the risks of vaping is helping to reduce the number of youth who vape, but school officials are struggling with how to stop vaping on campus. One thing they are trying is vape detectors.

Vape detectors work like standard smoke detectors but they are specially designed to detect substances emitted from vaping devices. The detectors notify schools when they are set off, and some of them can work with school camera systems to help narrow down who might have vaped. They are typically installed in bathrooms, locker rooms, or similar areas in a school where students can discreetly vape. This deterrence is helpful because students who do not vape are exposed to secondhand vapors that can negatively impact their health. Deterrence is just the start. The next step is to figure out what to do with students who get caught.

Schools are struggling with how to handle cases when students are caught vaping. A common approach is a zero-tolerance policy where students are suspended when they are caught. The Minnesota Department of Health said, “Using suspension and expulsion to penalize prohibited commercial tobacco use may not be reasonable considering tobacco targeted marketing, science of addiction, and long-term consequences associated with expulsion and suspension.” Students who are caught vaping should be given alternatives to suspension such as education, counseling, or resources to help them quit. Nicotine addiction makes it hard for youth to quit vaping, and giving them support is a better approach than keeping them out of school.

Schools are on the frontlines with preventing youth vaping. Vape detectors can help deter use, but there are drawbacks. The detectors are expensive, and students can find other ways to vape discreetly once they learn about them. Punitive measures are not effective, and many schools do not have the capacity to provide prevention education and resources to students. INDEPTH and My Life My Quit are great programs that teach youth about vaping risks and give them resources and support to quit vaping. Community groups and coalitions can support schools by providing personnel and funding to implement these programs. Youth vaping is a difficult problem, but it can be addressed if everyone works together.

Please check out the resources below for more information.


American Lung Association – INDEPTH: An Alternative to Suspension or Citation
CDC – Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023
HALO Smart Sensor – Vape Detectors are Giving Students Their Bathrooms Back
Minnesota Department of Health – Why Schools Should Implement Alternatives to Suspension for Use and Possession of Commercial Tobacco Products
My Life My Quit – Resources for Parents/Guardians
Ohio Department of Health – Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation
Partner Alliance for Safer Schools – The Role of Vape Sensors in Prevention Efforts to Address the Epidemic of Student E-Cigarette Use
Truth Initiative – Discipline Is Not the Answer: Better Approaches to On-campus Student Tobacco Use

Pride Month 2024

June is Pride Month. Boys & Girls Clubs of America summarizes the importance of this month by saying, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Pride Month spotlights LGBTQ+ culture, rights and identity – looking to the struggles and achievements of the past while working toward a more inclusive future.” Celebrating the LGBTQ+ population is an important part of this month, and this is also a great opportunity to recognize their unique struggles.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) released a data report in 2023 “indicating that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health conditions including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.” Their findings found increased rates of binge drinking, illicit drug use, and substance use disorders among LGBTQ people when compared to straight people. SAMHSA’s leader, Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., said the increased risks for substance use issues is related to “stress caused by stigma, discrimination and harassment.” These stressors not only increase the risks of substance use issues, but they are also leading to elevated rates of suicide risk among LGBTQ+ youth.

The Trevor Project’s 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People found that 39% of these youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 12% attempted suicide. Suicide attempts were higher for youth who were bullied or lived in a community that was not accepting of them. Surveys like these show that providing support and resources for LGBTQ+ youth can help reduce negative outcomes.

Pride Month is a cause for celebration, remembrance, and education. Check out the links below to learn how you can be an ally and celebrate.


Boys & Girls Clubs of America – Sharing Pride Month with Kids: 9 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month
neaToday – Five Ways to Support Your LGBTQ+ Students
SAMHSA – Moving Beyond Change Efforts: Evidence and Action to Support and Affirm LGBTQI+ Youth
SAMHSA – SAMHSA Releases New Data on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Behavioral Health
The Trevor Project – 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People
The Trevor Project – LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources

  • Explore a new place. The Northeast Ohio Family Fun website has plenty of places for you to check out.
  • Discover a new hobby or game. Check out this link for suggestions.
  • Enroll your child in a summer reading program. Wayne County Public Library’s theme this year is Adventure Begins at Your Library.




The Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign is a reminder for parents to not provide alcohol to minors. It can also spark a conversation with your child about why underage drinking is dangerous. Check out the links below for more information and for ideas on how to start that conversation.

After High School: Talking with Your Young Adult About Underage Drinking
KidsHealth – Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol
Prevention Action Alliance – Parents Who Host Lose the Most



Thank you for being a vital part of our community!


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Our mailing address is:
Rittman SALT Coalition
c/o 104 Spink St.
Wooster, OH 44691

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