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Student vaping on the rise, local schools taking steps to stop e-cigarette use

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MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The number of Wisconsin teens using e-cigarettes is at an all-time high. As students head back to the classroom, local schools are taking steps to stop their students from vaping.

Menomonee Falls High School took an anonymous survey of their students and found 46 percent have tried vaping and 25 percent vape regularly.

“It's terrifying how sick kids are getting and dying now,” Parent Kristin Schendel said. “It just worries me. I don't think kids quite get it, how dangerous it is.”

The problem isn’t only in Menomonee Falls, but across the state. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services found in 2018 one in five students used e-cigarettes. Last week, the Milwaukee County Health Department asked residents to stop vaping and using e-cigarettes altogether.

The Menomonee Falls School District plans to put up posters around the school, send out e-mails to parents, post the dangers of vaping on social media and bring in outside speakers to talk with students.

“We do now know the impact it's having on students and we have an obligation and responsibility to make sure that we're spreading that information and increasing awareness,” Director of Pupil Services Kathy Young said.

Wisconsin’s Health Department is looking into 30 cases of people getting sick because of vaping. The Menomonee Falls School District hopes their efforts keep students out of harm’s way.

“We've seen some hospitalizations with athletes and students within our community,” Athletics and Activity Director Brian Heimark said. “We want to make sure we get the information out to them so they understand exactly what it is.”

Before the school year started, teachers and staff met with the police department to learn what new vaping devices look like. 

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