Rising concerns after 3 Philip Barbour students hospitalized from vaping

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:57 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - 3 Philip Barbour High School students are now out of the hospital after using a vaping device last Friday.

While they’re okay, administrators say the problem of vaping is a growing issue across the state and country.

“You have no idea what’s in some of those vapes that kids are bringing into schools nowadays,” Barbour County Superintendent Jeffery Woofter

It was a scary situation at Philip Barbour High School when three students were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The students had all been using a vape, but it remains unclear what substance was inside that made them sick.

Woofter says although an investigation is still underway one thing is for sure; more young people are finding it easy to access these smoking products.

“These students can have these vapes a lot of the time in plain sight and people don’t even realize they’re vapes,” said Woofter.

Vaping devices can be used for smoking many substances from nicotine to marijuana to CBD and can come in many flavors.

Woofter says this type of marketing makes these products appealing to young people and because of this their county, along with hundreds of others, are involved in a class action lawsuit against vape manufacturer Juul.

“The basis for the lawsuit is basically they targeted minors to get them to use their products,” said Woofter. “I think it would be hard to find any middle or high school nationwide that don’t have some students using those products.”

Woofter says the school has been attempting to educate students on the dangers of smoking and installing devices to detect vapes and prevent their use, but unfortunately these students had to find out firsthand the dangers of smoking.

“We hope the three students being transported to the hospital is a wakeup call and will help the education process and deter classmates from being involved with it, but you just never know,” said Woofter.

The Barbour County Sheriff’s Office is still looking into what the substance inside the vapes was.

They say they’re confident it wasn’t fentanyl, but haven’t released what they think it might be or how it got there.

Keeping you connected in Barbour County, John Blashke 5 news.