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Vaping continues to plague Tampa Bay area schools in new school year

Vaping plagues area schools in new school year
Posted at 11:04 AM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 00:48:55-04

We are nearly a month into the new school year and vaping-related incidents continue to be an issue for Tampa Bay area schools.

According to staff members with Hernando County School District, there have already been 71 students caught vaping on school grounds so far this school year. The total for last year was 296.

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For most other school districts, any tobacco and vaping incidents are calculated together in the same category.

In Pinellas County, a spokesperson for the school district says there have been 60 tobacco incidents so far this school year. There were 1,141 last year. They also say in the last four years there has been a 555 percent increase in participation with tobacco clinics. First-time offenders have the option of going to a tobacco clinic in lieu of suspension.

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Every year for the last four years, Pinellas County has seen an increase in tobacco incidents.

A spokesperson for Hillsborough County Public Schools told ABC Action News there were 680 tobacco incidents last year, and 97, so far this year.

Sarasota County Schools reported 523 last year, and 46, so far this year.

Pasco County Schools did not have numbers for this year, but told ABC Action News there were 879 tobacco incidents last year.

Click here for more information on vaping and to learn more about health issues linked to vaping.