VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – E-Cigarettes continue to grow in popularity, especially among teens.
However, a new trend is raising concerns, and law enforcement in Vigo County is already working ahead before it hits locally.
Officials say Nicotine may not be the only thing users are smoking in their E-Cigarettes, or Vape Pens. Users could be substituting in K2 (Spice), or marijuana extracts.
“It’s real discreet, easy to hide from parents or from friends,” said Sgt. Steve Lockard, Vigo County Drug-Task Force, “You might get a little bit of an odor if it’s a THC liquid; If it’s synthetic, it’s just going to smell like a vaporized cigarette”.
The city of Terre Haute is continuing to make strides when it comes to regulations of E-Cigarettes. The city council is still in the works of considering a new ordinance. If approved, it would classify E-Cigarettes as a tobacco product, and would add the devices to the city’s definition of drug and tobacco paraphernalia and accessories.
Lockard says this new proposal would be another way to help crack down on a concerning trend.
“By adapting E-Cigs to the paraphernalia ordinance that we have,” said Lockard, “It’s just another way to try and keep it out of the community as much as possible”.
Synthetic drug use among teens is a trend in itself that is slowly growing, Lockard has seen it in Vigo County.
“We are seeing a few sporadic overdoses here and there,” said Lockard, “We’ll get a few reports of somebody concerned their child is using synthetics and they don’t know what to do”.
Lockard encourages all parents to stay aware for indicators that your child may be using synthetics.
“Pay attention to their behaviors, or habits,” said Lockard, “Synthetics have a broad spectrum of reactions that they cause”.
Lockard says reactions can range anywhere from similarities of marijuana, up to similar effects of LSD or methamphetamine.
“They could just go off the wall, go into seizures, overdoses, things like that” said Lockard.
Lockard says they are doing what they can to stay ahead of the trend, and put an end to it before it comes an issue here.
“That’s our main concern is to just try to do something now to keep it out of the hands of children,” said Lockard, “At least make it harder for them to get, before it becomes a bigger problem here”.