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Educating schools and students about underage vaping

In this Wednesday, April 11, 2018 photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student displays a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is trying to get more information and education about vaping into schools, even elementary age.

Kids as young as 5th and 6th grade have been vaping in Utah schools, in the bathrooms or out back. Ciara Gregovich goes into schools all over the state in her role as the DEA 360 community outreach coordinator.

“I ask principals and staff, what are the things that you are seeing? They often say that vaping, marijuana and sexting are their biggest problems,” she said.

Gregovich says DEA 360 is a three-pronged approach that was started to deal with the opioid crisis in Utah. But she also tailors her outreach to focus on those issues the schools are seeing.

She says teachers can use curriculum that’s already in place about drugs.

“Programs like Get Smart About Drugs, and Operation Prevention. We promote that and say, teachers, look at A, B, and C types of drugs, and vaping is included in those,” said Gregovich.

She also has conversations with kids.

“I tell them vaping is a risky behavior, and let me tell you why. I ask questions like, do you know what’s in it? Where does it come from? You are too young to be using it, so who is giving it to you?”

She spoke after the Wednesday press conference with two lawmakers and DEA Agent in Charge, Brian Besser, talking about vaping. You can read that story here.