The use of vaping and e-cigarettes among teenagers has exploded in popularity in recent months. Now, the Corpus Christi Independent School District wants to enhance their anti-vaping and tobacco policy on campuses.
This was the topic of discussion at Monday's school board meeting. The American Heart Association told district leaders and KRIS 6 News one in four high school students are vaping or using e-cigarettes.
Vaping is a growing health problem. While the health risks largely are unknown, the district does know it wants to bring more awareness and education -- with the help of the AHA -- to the health dangers these products pose.
"So we're hoping to have more parent sessions, student sessions through the evenings, as well as in the school day, to let them know exactly what they're doing," said CCISD Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez.
As the policy stands now, tobacco products are prohibited from CCISD campuses, but Hernandez said there's been a growing number of incidents with middle- and high-school students.
"I know a couple of students that go into the bathroom and smoke or skip school to go smoke," said Moody High School sophomore Alieah Garcia.
"We remove the individuals if they're caught," said Hernandez. "We don't want it in our schools and we're going to do what we can to keep it out."
The newly-formed partnership still is in its beginning stages, but it will bring more attention to the issue of keeping those products off-campus.
However, for now, school staff is doing what it can to inform students.
"(The teachers) they try to talk to us about how we shouldn't do it and how it's bad for you," said Moody High School freshman Judas Moreno.
"They (students and staff) have a lot of meetings in the cafeteria and tell us we'll get in big trouble if we do it (smoking) and it's bad for us," said Moody High School freshman Isreal Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, Hernandez says so far, there have not been any vaping-related injuries or illnesses on school campuses.