MADISON, Ala. - The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 25 percent of high school students are using e-cigarettes or vaping.
To curb the epidemic locally, Madison City schools hosted an e-cig/vaping workshop to "clear the smoke" on issues surrounding their use, including school sanctions if caught in the act or with a device.
School leaders and the partnership for a drug-free community lead the workshop Tuesday evening at the central office and invited parents to have an open discussion on teen vaping.
"We want to educate our students, we want to educate our parents, want to educate our stakeholders. It's a lot going on with vaping and e-cigarettes that most of our community is not aware of, so we want to make sure they're aware of what's going on," said David West, Madison City Schools Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Coordinator.
West says this is an epidemic that is affecting all school systems, not just Madison City, but parents need to be aware of their strict policies.
If a student is caught with any e-cig or vaping device it is considered drug paraphernalia and a class three violation. That's punishable by five days of suspension, a hearing, and potential alternative school.
"I think that with more parents coming to workshops like this we can learn more about it so we know what to say to our kids, because our kids know that this is going on in our schools, so we need to catch up and know what our kids know," said parent LeAnne McGee.