Vape detectors installed in Upshur County schools

TENNERTON – Smoking and using vapes are strictly prohibited within Upshur County schools and on school property. Over the summer break, some Upshur County schools received vape detectors to help monitor for vape use in areas that are difficult to monitor, such as restrooms. Matthew Sisk, Upshur County Schools Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said vape usage has increased steadily in both middle and high school every year since 2013-2014. He referred My Buckhannon to the Centers for Disease Control website,, for information on vapes or e-cigarettes.


The CDC website notes that e-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol or mix of small particles in the air. Vapes come in many shapes and sizes, and some look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes, while others can resemble USB flash drives, pens or other everyday items. The site says e-cigarettes often contain nicotine and flavorings.


“Vape detectors are being placed in locations in the schools that are difficult to monitor for staff, such as in the bathrooms,” Sisk said. “The detectors detect vapor from e-cigarettes and have the ability to differentiate nicotine and THC. The vape detectors we have installed also have the ability to detect sudden increases in sound, potentially allowing school officials to respond to yelling in the bathrooms or fights in bathrooms.”