Take a closer look at your child’s school supplies. It could actually be a vape.
New vaping products are giving kids new ways to hide their habits in plain sight – including school.
Would you be able to tell if your child’s highlighter is actually a vape?
It’s the newest way for teens to have a vape on them in school without giving away any red flags.
“Parents don’t even know what their kids are purchasing on the web that is, in fact, harmful to their health,” Edgar Domenech said.
Domenech is the former 117th NYC Sheriff and a retired Deputy Director for ATF – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
His message to parents? Do your homework.
“What a parent can and should be doing is they should be talking to their kids. Educating themselves. Go on the websites and see what the vaping products look like. The disposable vaping products.”
One of the companies who sells highlighter vapes has a website that asks for age verification, and you need to enter your email for details to buy it.
The company’s Instagram page said the vapes are not for sale to minors, and you need to message them for distribution.
13Investigates messaged the company but has yet to hear back from them.
The FDA has also issued a warning for retailers selling illegal e-cigarettes disguised as toys, food items and school supplies.
Similar vaping products have been around for a few years now, and they’re commonly referred to as ‘stealth vapes’ because they’re easy to hide in plain sight.
Including vape backpacks, smart watches, t-shirts, and hoodies.
“They’re targeting these kids with the flavors. They think it’s not bad. It tastes like bubblegum, cotton candy, watermelon. It’s the in thing to do,” Domenech said.
Last year, A CDC report found that more than 2.5 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. Nearly 85% of them used flavored e-cigarettes, and more than half used disposable e-cigarettes.
Domenech said thousands of unauthorized disposable vapes are pouring into the U.S. despite the FDA’s crackdown.
“It’s against the law to have vaping products with certain flavours, candy flavours. These are, in fact, illegal to be on the market, but yet they are saturating the market,” Domenech said. “They’re unregulated. We have no idea the ingredients being put into these products. We don’t know the health implications that our children are going to have long-term because, unlike other vaping products that are regulated by the FDA. The disposable vapes have not and are not regulated by the FDA.”
The Associated Press reports the number of different e-cigarette devices sold in the U.S. has nearly tripled to over 9,000 since 2020. It’s driven almost entirely by a wave of unauthorized disposable vapes from China.
Several Chinese websites have dozens of flavored vapes that can quickly ship to the U.S.
Domenech said there needs to be more known about the health implications.
“These flavors are basically geared toward our underage kids taking up this very bad habit. The problem is we have no idea what’s in these products.”