LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Schools across the country have been thinking outside of the box for solution to the teen vaping epidemic, and at one Los Angeles-area high school, two juniors
“There’s this vaping problem, which I’m sure that the administrators know of, but nothing’s being done about it,” Krish Shah said.
So Shah and Adam Komjathy created a phone app to try to combat vaping at Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta-Montrose.
“There’s almost no way for an administrator to know whether vaping is happening in the bathroom unless they walk in,” Shah said.
The app allows students to anonymously report when they see other students vaping.
“They simply select what gender the restroom is, which building it’s in and what floor,” Komjathy said.
Associate Principal Christine Benitez worked with the teens on the concept for nearly a year.
“I’d say it’s the number one thing we deal with,” she said.
Benitez said the app was her way of trying to help solve the crisis and get students involved.
“Instead of us running around trying to catch kids, the app is helping us deploy those resources to the appropriate area,” she said.
If caught, a student must attend a 10-week program. The school said the goal wasn’t to punish the students, but to make them away of the health risks.
“They don’t understand what they’re putting in their body,” Benitez said. “We really have to educate them on how to make that better choice and how to put their health first.”
In just one week, students reported 300 vaping incidents at the school.
“Don’t do it, because it could affect not just you, but even younger generations,” Shah said.
Shah and Komjathy said they hope their app makes their peers think twice about using e-cigarettes.
The app has worked so well at Crescenta Valley that other districts have reached out to see how they could use it at their schools.