KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The vaping epidemic has many at a loss of what to do to protect our kids. One in three teens in Buffalo County admit it's easy to get their hands on marijuana. The Buffalo County Community Partners are springing into action.
Thirty-three deaths from 24 different states. Forty-nine states have cases of injuries related to vaping. 33 deaths, from 24 states.
Nationwide the E-cigarette usage increased 78% from 2017 to 2018. In Buffalo County, in just a two-year time period it doubled, going from nearly 14% in 2016 to 28% in 2018, a trend some parents were unaware of.
"The first time I was introduced to this I was at a baseball game, it looked like a USB, so I picked it up. My son was like "mom, what are you doing with that?" It's a vaping device. I thought how is it that I don't know about this and my kids do," said Tina Chausek, Mom, UNK Counselor.
Monday night, parents got an education. Law enforcement informed them of what they see in the schools and what parents need to look out for at home.
"To be on alert and make sure that they know they aren't' just harmless little devices, most of them contain nicotine or some substance that can be harmful," said Wanda Fedorchik, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator.
The brains of kids are still forming through their mid 20's, marijuana, nicotine and other drugs can be extremely dangerous.
"In Nebraska, most kids have had their fair amount of partying at age 13. Prevention experts say 5th grade is when parents need to start talking to their kids," adds Chausek.
Of the kids that admit to vaping in Buffalo County, 45% of them admit to inhaling marijuana and other drugs.