The Kansas State Department of Education is looking to give schools and parents resources to combat the illegal use of e-cigarettes.

“There are many, especially adults, who do not understand what vaping is, don’t understand the hazards that are involved, the addictive properties that go along with it,” said Mark Thompson, Health & Physical Education Program Consultant for the Kansas Department of Education. “It’s been marketed as a somewhat safe product and marketed as a way to stop smoking.”

The prevalence of e-cigarette use in students increased 78 percent nationally between 2017 and 2018, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The properties of the vaping products are hazardous to students’ health and highly addictive,” said Thompson.

It isn’t always easy to see when kids are vaping.

“In large part because of how the vaping devices have been packaged,” said Thompson. “So many of them look like flash drives, which they expect their children to be carrying around. If they see it, they may not recognize it for what it is.”

The 2017 Kansas Youth Risk Factors Survey shows one in three Kansas high school students have tried e-cigarettes and one in 10 were current users.