CBSNEWSPATH– With the youth vaping epidemic sweeping across the U.S., schools across the country are thinking outside the box looking for solutions.
Krish Shah and Adam Komjathy are juniors at Crescenta Valley High School in Los Angeles County, CA. The students created an app to try to combat vaping in their school.
“There’s almost no way for an administrator to know whether the vaping is happening in the bathroom unless they walk in,” Shah said. “So the app puts students in control, allowing them to anonymously report when they see other students vaping.
“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. She says it was her way 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 in the appropriate areas,” Benitez said.
If caught, a student must attend a 10-week program. The school says the goal isn’t to punish students but to make them aware 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 one week, students reported 300 vaping incidents at their school. The app is working so well other districts have reached out to see how they can use it in their schools.
Shah’s message about vaping: “Don’t do it, because it could affect not just you but even younger generations.”
Shah and Komjathy hope their app makes their peers think twice about using e-cigarettes.