With the ongoing public paranoia that vaping is going to corrupt the youth and bring them one step closer to nicotine addiction, it’s hardly surprising that there is now a vape detector on the horizon. Despite current studies which have revealed that, despite popular opinion, experimental vaping does not lead to smoking, or even regular vaping, the media chooses to run with the idea that young people are being faced with an enormous threat to their health and well-being in the form of e-cigarettes.
Now, companies have cashed in on these apparently unfounded concerns, and have developed a clever surveillance tool to snoop on teenagers when they least expect it, in an attempt to catch them at an early stage and so put them off vaping for life. While sensible people might then reason that teens could well take up smoking instead, this does not seem to have occurred to school administrators, who appear to be seriously considering installing these nanny state devices in educational establishments.
Digital Fly, a company based in New York, have developed their own software suite and offers its services to assist schools in dealing with a range of issues that threaten today’s young people. The list of problems that they have set themselves up to tackle include such serious issues as suicide and pupil violence – and now vaping is set to be added to the list.
The system involves installing a sensor in potentially covert areas of the school where staff cannot go, such as student bathrooms, to keep an eye on students and to alert teachers whenever a threat is detected – threats that include bullying, self-harm and, yes, you guessed it, vaping. The manufacturer’s of the device state that whenever a student vapes in the bathroom, the air will be contaminated and it will be picked up by the sensor in order to alert a member of staff straight away via an alert direct to their cell phone. As well all know, over-worked teachers have nothing better to do than to burst into the bathrooms during their lunch break to break up a crowd of teenager vapers.
It seems that the media frenzy surrounding the dangers of teen vaping has become so widespread and so ingrained that even cash-strapped school authorities are seriously considering investing in these snooping measures to eradicate vaping amongst young people. However, it would make more sense if they actually acknowledged that vaping could actually be a good thing – after all, would they rather that the kids were puffing away on cigarettes behind the science blocks? It seems quite clear that, until the public at large recognises that e-cigs have a key role to play in reducing the harm that can be caused by smoking tobacco, this is likely to be just the first in a long line of similar innovations. Over the next few years, we can expect to see devices like this popping up in public spaces everywhere, so watch out covert vapers everywhere!