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The teenage vaping alarm is ringing among educators in Arizona.  

“It’s definitely a crisis in the sense that we’re creating a whole new generation of people who are going to be addicted to nicotine,” University of Arizona Professor Judith Gordon told azfamily.com 

The interim associate dean of research at the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing, Gordon cited the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s report of teen e-cigarette use increasing a staggering 78 percent during 2017-18. For middle school students, the rising rate was 48 percent.  

Arizona administrators are becoming increasingly alarmed, institutionalizing the use of vape detectors in bathrooms in a number of schools and investing in educational speeches by addiction experts.  

The restroom detectors are developing into a hot issue, according to azfamily.com 

Among the schools to install vape detectors, Kyrene Aprende Middle School in Chandler, Ariz., decided mid-school year to pioneer the extra layer of security.  

“At the start of (the 2018-19 school) year from the very beginning, we were just continually getting reports of kids vaping in the restrooms, and constantly talking to kids,” said Renee Kory, the school’s principal. “They were just so nonchalant about how everybody vapes.”  

Kory joined the school district’s pilot program and installed the detectors in both boys and girls’ restrooms last February, making it the state’s first school to experiment with the devices.  

In an obvious effort to combat the e-cigarettes‘ easy concealment, the district contracted New York-based Soter Technologies to spearhead the bathroom detection service. Soter re-invented its software, which specialized in monitoring noise in private rooms. The devices were initially marketed as “bullying detectors” and were modified to detect air quality disturbances.   

Sotar Chief Executive Officer Derek Peterson said when the new devices sense vaping, it will immediately alert school administrators via text.  

Not all school districts, however, are on board with restroom detectors. Dysart Unified School District, for example, apparently has no plans to contact Sotar because of potential costs and uncertainty over the technology’s long-term success rate, azfamily.com reported. 

Regardless, Arizona educators remain alarmed. 

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