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Episode 2: Cereal Vapor

Get the 101 on teen-vaping and find out what signs to look for in teens that are a part of the dangerous trend.

Superintendent Anthony Godfrey is joined by Assistant Principal Stewart Hudnall who brings a variety of vaping devices into the studio and explains how and where kids are using them.

Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. This is the Jordan school district podcast designed to educate, inform, and hopefully entertain you. If it's something important to parents and students, we hope to feature it right here on the super cast. And today we are fortunate to have Stewart Hudnall with us. He's an assistant principal out at Herriman high school, and he's going to talk with us about a topic that has been hitting the news a lot lately and has really been taking off. And that is the issue of vaping among teens. And he's brought quite an array of, I assume, confiscated, uh, materials here that, uh, he's going to talk us through, but he's getting been giving presentations to parents to help them understand what to watch for and, and the impacts. And so we're very glad to have you here. Thank you. Happy to be here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Um, tell us about your journey and education so far.

Uh, so I started at Riverton High School. I was a teacher there. I was a business teacher business and marketing taught digital media and graphic design and some web design financial. It loved it. Um, I historically my family have a dad. That's an educator and he became an administrator. So I followed in his footsteps. And so after a few years at Riverton, I made the jump to administrator and got placed at Herriman High School. And this is the start of my third year.

Great. Well, it's great to have you tell it, tell us a little bit about what, um, what, where, where all of your not interest is maybe the wrong word, but where, where your information came from and how you started to kind of pursue more information about vaping.

Well, in the last couple of years, it, no pun intended has exploded with the vaping of the e-cigarettes and anything my students are doing. I'm interested in, I like to connect with them, unfortunately, in this regard, it's something illegal with vaping for the students. But every time I talked to some, I tried to learn a little bit more about what it was, what it meant, how it worked, what to look for, what they were seeing, what it smelled like, what it felt like. I tried to figure out everything I could from the students to determine what I could do to help them.

And so tell us about, tell us about what, what you learned from students about how they feel as in about vaping.

So for most of the kids, I actually had a few arguments with kids that said I wasn't smoking. I was vaping. And so there was a little bit of a disconnect for them, whether or not they were actually smoking or vaping. And, and we had that discussion. And in the end, in the eyes of the law, legally, it's the same thing. And so that discussion was had, but what I found out is with most kids, uh, almost exception when I peel back the layers, the reason why they were smoking is they're overwhelmed. They had anxiety, um, they were depressed. They had something that was going on in their life, oftentimes hard issues going on at home, but they didn't know how to cope with. And so it was a form of self-medicating. I had numerous students tell me huddle. When I see that smoke come out, it just relaxes me. It's an easy way for me to calm down. And sometimes there's nothing else out there. That's going to calm me down as much as taking a hit.

So sometimes it's the process. As much as the substance,

The scary thing is they started because of the process, but then nicotine is very addictive and the amount of nicotine varies so much based on the juice that they don't realize the amount of nicotine that they're smoking and sure enough, they get addicted to it. And so no longer is it just a coping mechanism? It's, they're coping with it, but now they have to have it. They have to have that nicotine addiction.

So tell me, what are some of the, uh, impacts that you've seen on students from being addicted to vaping?

A lot of it is, um, it can be educational. They're not able to focus in class. Kids are sneaking away. We're finding lots of kids smoking in the bathroom. In fact, the joke kind of going around is we installed bathrooms in their vape rooms because it's

To make that more convenient. Yeah.

Two and one, um, most assistant principals I've talked to in other schools, that's where they're finding most kids, they're going to be in the stall smoking. And so they've got to sneak away during class in order just to feel like they can function because that nicotine addiction is too high.

I did have a student that, uh, when I was teaching in eighth grade, that was late to class. And I finally realized that it was because he needed to have a smoke before class because of the timing of my particular class. And he was sneaking behind a portable and taking care of that everyday. But with vaping maybe is it easier to you to vape indoors?

Absolutely. And that's, that's part of where the struggle comes from. And I think the reason why it's become so popular with kids, the stigma's gone. It's no longer that gross cigarette that they have to light. Uh, historically we could walk down the hall and we could smell the kid that smoked a cigarette because it's such a strong odor that sauna. Now it's a fruity smell. Now it's a smell. That's going to be cotton, candy, fruit anywhere in between. And kids are actually even able to do it in class without the teacher realizing it because it's so easy.

So there really is, um, more access, I guess, because vaping doesn't give itself away. So he's

Yeah. Uh, in fact, a lot of times when I'll talk to kids, when they're in their cars, in the parking lot, they'll roll down the window. And that's how I can tell they've been smoking because it, it smells fruity. Most boys cars when they rolled down the window, don't it doesn't smell fruity, but when they roll it down and it smells fruity, I know something's usually going on or they have a really good Eric.

So now when the car smells good, now, now there's a worry opposed to the way that you used to be able to detect it.

And I think most parents will agree, boys bedrooms, boys cars, they don't always smell the best. And so when you get a really strong smell of that, we've told teachers in the classroom, it might be the girl putting on lotion, or it might be the kid that her, and took a puff while the teacher's back was turned.

So it does make it much more difficult. Absolutely. Uh, given that it is more difficult to detect. Um, and as an assistant principal myself years ago, I know that you end up learning a little bit about what kids do to disguise their negative behavior. Can you give any tips to parents about how you have seen kids disguise their devices or their vaping habits?

Well, because they're so small, they're really easy to hide. It's not like it's the big pack of cigarettes anymore. Our most popular device, we're finding it's called the smoke Novo. And it is really small. It's not quite as skinny as the Juul that most people have out there, but with this teeny device, they're able to hide it really easily in their pocket, in their hands parents. Aren't going to see that, um, the two biggest things that we tell parents look out for is the smell because it's hard to hide the smell. And the second thing to look out for is the sound when they ask.

So what does, what does the sound tell us about the center

Crackly sound? Um, it's hard to describe, but it's almost like electricity crackling.

Mr. Hudnall, can you, can you, um, give us a demonstration of what that sound?

Yeah, absolutely. This device I have here was actually confiscated from a student at the first hour of the first day of school. He was out in his car. We went out to check parking lots just to see how the law was doing, because we have a lot less kids this year and he was sitting there smoking. And so it actually has enough battery left in it. I can show you the sound,

Perhaps nervous about the first day of school.

Absolutely. And he actually said, he's had this one for a year and a half. And so he was not really excited to part with it. It kind of was his favorite, but this is the sound, this is something they can't hide. When we go in the bathrooms to do bathroom checks. This is another easy way to tell if the kid's smoking. You don't always see the cloud, but they can't hide the sound. So this is the sound.

And is that the sound just when the, when they start it or throughout the time that they're vaping, you can hear it.

So anytime that they're sucking on it. So typically what's happening is they're pushing that button to create the vapor and that's what they're sucking out. And so that's, what's happening. That sound is happening while they're smoking it. Uh, some devices don't have buttons. Those ones, they are draw activated, meaning that nothing happens until they put their mouth on it and suck on it. And so it's kind of always on,

But when they, when they take a draw on it, then you don't hear the noise.

Yeah. You don't necessarily hear the sucking. You're going to hear that crackling sound. It's almost like electricity.

And you said sometimes it's hard to see the vapor is some vapor easier to see than others, because I know that I've seen, uh, folks vaping and, and it's almost like there's more of a cloud than there would have been. Had someone been smoking so big, does that vary by device? Or how does that, um, so the big devices, the ones that will have two, three, four batteries in them, uh, they'll actually use those at competitions as well because they're able to create a gigantic cloud and they like that cloud. But when I was talking to the students, I, I pulled down a couple of students. I had busted and I said, help, educate me a little bit about this. Why aren't kids using the big cool ones? Why are they using these little ones? And he said, huddle, the reason why they use the little ones is because they're just addicted to the nicotine.

It's not going to create that big cloud that they want. They can do really cool tricks with those clots, with those small ones, they just need the nicotine hit. And so it's really easy to hide. They'll blow it in their shirt. They'll keep it in their mouth. Kids have blown in their backpacks, in their sleeves and it just dissipates cause it's vapor. Hmm. Okay. So if the device really determines whether there's going to be a big cloud or not, absolutely. And you can get plenty of nicotine into your system without a big cloud. If that's what you're, if that's what you're shooting for and the juices have different levels of nicotine. So juices will have three grams, um, three milligrams and some will have six milligrams. And, um, some will have, um, 24 milligrams for the bottle. Some will have 50 milligrams for the bottle. We're going to take a break and we'll come right back and talk a little bit more about vaping. And some of the liquids used in vaping stay with us.

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We're back with assistant principal Stewart Hudnall talking about vaping, uh, he's an assistant principal at Herriman high school and has had more experience than he would have liked I'm sure. And taking, uh, devices off of various students, but to his great credit has conversations with students to try to understand why they vape and how they vape so that he has a better understanding of how to help, how to help students who are involved in this illegal behavior. You talked a little bit about the various ways that you have been able to identify that someone is vaping, it's different from smoking. You could smell someone who smokes a long ways away. The cigarettes can only be stored in a few different ways because they're fairly fragile. Whereas you can really stash a small vaping device. Um, what do you call it? I call it a vaping device.

I don't think that's a mod, a mod, a mod. Okay. So you can hide the mod pretty easily. Um, and the, the, the smoke will depend on the mod or the device that you're using. So can you just recap for us if you're a parent and you want to, you want to see whether your child is vaping, you watch for the sound, the crackling sound, the vapor, of course, the mod, which is a little device that can even look like a lighter when it's actually, um, a USB stick on some of them or a USB stick. Okay. Yeah. You have a few devices here in front of you. That would be difficult to immediately identify as something illegal. Some of them have more flourish and flare, and that's a little bit obvious, but others, it would be more difficult to do.

And some of the kids love tricking out their monks. Like this one has, uh, I have a device here that has different customized pieces that the student has purchased, so they can actually spend quite a bit of money on it. They, they trick it out, kinda like they trick out a car, they can have specialty batteries, specialty tanks, specialty inhalers, specialty bodies. There's a lot of different options that they can mix and match to create it and kind of make it their own.

Do they take a rechargeable battery or?

Yeah. So my favorite one is called a mag and it is just like a pistol grip on a, on a gun. And the trigger to pull like on the gun is they want the device activating property on the mod. But the reason why they call it a mag is there's a button on there that will drop out the base, which looks just like a magazine for a gun. And so it just slides in and out.

Yeah. So part of the procedure that you go through is kind of almost like a fidget spinner or something where you you'll find kids fidgeting with them, fidget with them throughout the day.

Yeah. It's something that they like to play with the smaller device. Like you said, it is harder to detect. They all have rechargeable batteries. I haven't seen one yet that doesn't have a rechargeable battery. In fact, we, the jewels, the jewels are what get the most media attention right now. Um, but we actually aren't finding them at, at my school at all.

Why do you think that is, is it that jewels are more expensive or

The number one reason? And this is what I've talked to kids about. And I asked him why aren't more kids, Julian. And they said, it's because it's more expensive. The pod that goes on the top that is filled with the juice is not refillable. It's a onetime use. When that pod is gone, they have to throw it away and buy a new one. Kids being cheap as all high school kids are not having a lot of disposable income. Uh, the smoke Novo is their favorite. It's the smallest one is the cheapest one, but it also comes with a cartridge that's easy to refill. It has little rubber stopper on the side that they can pop out and then they just buy the juice and then they can fill it and reuse it as many times until the cotton inside is completely burned out.

So where do students buy these? Where are, where are they able to get their hands on a device? If it's illegal for students of that age to you?

So you and me being of age, we can go into any gas station and just about any gas station or smoke shops are going to have all of these.

Well, you just answered my question. They shoplift them in convenience stores, right?

Most of the time though it is behind the desk. And so most kids I've talked to, there's a couple ways. One, they have a friend that has a cousin that's of age that buys it and sells it to them. So usually it's someone that they know that he's old enough to buy it, and then they sell it to them. Or the second one is Amazon eBay, because they're not checking ages when they buy it. And so they're able to purchase it on the internet and get it shipped to them directly.

So your prime membership can get you your, uh, your, a mod, uh, next day, or, um, if it's no rush shipping, you get a dollar credit on various digital items as well.

The music. Yeah. So if you want to have some tunes afterwards. Absolutely. Yeah.

Well, that is remarkable. So we've talked about the devices and it really is amazing kind of the array of devices. It's not like you see a cigarette and you know what it is, this is, this is something that you'd have to keep on top of, um, in order to be aware of the device. I guess if there's something plugged into the wall at night that doesn't look like a phone, then ask yourself some questions about what that device might be. Yeah.

I had one kid actually charging his Juul on the Chromebook at school. And so the teacher emailed me and said, Hey, I know we just talked about this. I think this kid might have an e-cigarettes. Can you come up and check? And I walked up and sure enough, it was plugged into the side of the Chromebook and charging in the middle of it.

That is relying on the ignorance of adults in a serious way. And it can work sometimes. But fortunately, the teacher in question had been, uh, had been trained and knew what to watch for, but that's, that's part of it. That's part of, what's scary about this is that it's very dangerous for kids at that age. It's illegal on top of that, but it's very difficult to detect and easy to get. So parents need to be vigilant. Um, tell me, tell me about the liquids that are used. Is there, is there ever an argument from a kid and I honestly don't know enough about vaping to even know if this question makes sense, but is there ever an argument from a kid? Well, I'm just vaping X or Y that isn't an illegal substance. Is there any type of vaping depending on what you put in there that could be legal.

There's a couple arguments. Kids will have one built by juice that has no NIC nicotine. They call Nick

No. Nick in the mod. In the juice. Yes. Okay.

So they'll say, well, I had no, there's no Nick in it. And I have to explain to them the nicotine part isn't necessarily what makes it illegal for them to have, right? It's the smoking in general. And that's what the discussion is. But in the end, they are taking a juice of vapor, a hot vapor in their lungs that has, they don't know what's in it because it's not really regulated. And so they're not sure what different chemicals are found in it. And they're taking that in their lungs and then expelling it. The second one is CBD oil, which we can go to good earth. And by today you can go to a smoke shop and buy CBD. It's a part of the marijuana plants, but it's the medicinal parts, right? And so kids are smoking that same, but huddle, it's not illegal for CBD.

So CBD, THC, what else? Those are the two big ones. Those are the two big ones.

So we hear about CBD and THC almost exclusively.

And do they claim, so if they claim that there's something else in there, there's no THC, there's no CBD. Then the argument is still that you can't vape period, regardless of the substance.

And technically, even in the eyes of the law is it's paraphernalia. And so they can't have the device to smoke, even if they don't have any juice on them, it's actually illegal for them to have the device period, because it's for it's for something that is illegal for them to do.

Okay. That makes sense. Yeah. No, that makes it does make sense. It's paraphernalia in the traditional sense. Absolutely. So, um, I have to ask about this, that you brought here, you, all of the, all of the liquids look quite attractive. It's it's candy shop, it's bursting with fruit flavor and, um, it's very attractive. The devices themselves are intriguing. And I have to say, I am a lucky charms fan, and here's this little box of cereal carts, I guess, is the brand of THC 85 to 90% THC.

Yeah. So this is where we get into the really scary stuff. It's scary enough to begin with because nicotine is so addicting, especially for a young kid to be addicted at such a young age. It really breaks my heart to have those discussions with parents about Nicorette gum, nicotine patches, what their kid can do to get through a whole school day without having nicotine. We've had those conversations before. But when we start talking about the THC, that's where we move into the definitely illegal right realm. It's illegal for anybody at this point. And they're marketing it specifically to kids into the younger generation because they have things called cereal carts that are flavored after our favorite cereals. So I'll ask the kids when I have these presentation, what's your favorite serum. They throw out all these names and just about every cereal they throw out, they can find a flavor for that.

THC. The scary part is what they do is they process the marijuana plant. So that it's basically straight THC in that juice that they're smoking the marijuana of our day. Back in the day in the 19 hundreds, that marijuana was about five to 15% THC. This stuff is processed down to where it's 85, 90% THC. So the amount of THC their body's taking in is astronomical compared to what it would have been back in the day. So what are some of the cereals they had cinnamon toast crunch. Absolutely. Um, if you just do an easy search online of cereal carts, you can find people that are willing and ready to sell it to you. Cinnamon toast crunch Frankenberry captain crunch, blueberry tricks, high nut Cheerios, Apple jacks, captain crunch. Oh, wow. All your favorite flavors. So even a little box that looks like it was a prize in a cereal box is actually THC oil.

Is that what you would call or is it liquid? Is it what's the terminology? What would the kids call it? Well, they just call it dab. Carts, dab carts. Yeah. So dab, uh, that's when they distill it down, when they process it down and it's a waxy substance, so kids will actually still smoke that in like a pipe or some other way. This has now become the oil. So the Deb carts is the next iteration of that. And so it can screw on just about any mod or e-cigarettes in one of those little vials. It has a gram of marijuana in it, and it goes for about 30 to $40 street value. I did find one kid that bought them for $25, which makes me a little nervous where he's getting it because that's really cheap. Um, but most are going for about 30 to $40 while in depth cards.

And how long were the Deb cart? So can you, it depends on the kid. It's kind of like asking a smoker. How long has that package the cigarettes going to last you? Um, a kid we talked to just last week, said the dab car lesson one day when he has it, he sees it that often. Wow. It's kind of like chain smoking at that point. So the more extreme habits that you've seen could cost hundreds per week. I sat down with him and bless his heart. He had the conversation with me. I said, help me understand that I'm doing the math and that's like $750 a month. Are you doing a dab card a day? He says, I don't know. I can't afford that. He says, but I'm doing about two or three a week. So that's 50 to $75 a week that he's smoking. Um, you know, times by four and he's using his allowance for his, where he says he gets his money. Okay. Well, um, very, uh, very unsettling, very troubling, but great information to help us, uh, try to combat this growing problem. We're going to take a break and we'll be right back, uh, with some final tips from mr. Stuart huddle from airman high school, stick with us.

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Alright. And we're back with Stuart. Hudnall assistant principal here in Jordan school. He

Works at Herriman high school as we mentioned, but, uh, this is a problem at all high schools nationwide to varying degrees. And even with younger and younger students all the time. Have you seen this with younger students as well or heard about that?

Yeah, as I, as I've gone around and done presentations, I've had parents and administrators at elementary level. Let me know, even down to fourth grade where a kid has had an e-cigarette or a model on them.

Yeah. It's scary. The way it's attractive and brightly colored and fruit flavored. And it really makes it seem innocuous when it's, when it's dangerous and illegal. Uh, can you summarize for us just come up some of your final tips for, for parents to be on the lookout, what to watch for, and then maybe some tips to students about the negatives that you've heard from students themselves that would maybe, uh, be a deterrent to students trying this in the first place. Sure.

Uh, with parents, obviously, you know, your kid best, any change in behavior can be, be a concern, keep an eye on them. Um, spending long times alone, they're going into their room to smoke. That's where a lot of kids are going to do it. And so with that in mind, what does the room smell like when you go in, is there a fruity smell? Is there a cotton candy smell? Is there something going on in the room behind the house? That seems a little bit different. Keeping an eye out for that. Okay. Sound wise as well. If you're hearing a crackling of current, then pretty sure that that's going to be your e-cigarette. Okay. You have faulty wiring in your house. Hopefully it's e-cigarette it's not a good sound either way. No, it's not. And it is a scary sound. And then, um, have those conversations with your kids. Research has shown time and time again, that the biggest deterrent for drug use is parents. And those conversations being open and honest with your kid, have that discussion, ask them about it because I guarantee they've seen kids do it or they know kids that do it, see what their take is on it.

Great tips. Now tell us, if there's a student listening, who's thought about trying this or has started tell me some of the ill effects that you've seen that would maybe act as

Sure to that. My first thing for the kid is just remember, there's hope it doesn't matter how deep you feel like you're in the hole with the e-cigarette there's a way out. And if you're using it as a coping mechanism, reach out for help. Talk to your administration, administrators, talk to your assistant principal, talk to your counselors. There's other coping mechanisms that are out there that can help. And we have seen success with kids who have had a serious addiction with nicotine, wean themselves off, be completely nicotine free and find other ways to cope with what's going on because we all have hard things going on in our life, but know that we're here to help and we're here to support. However we can, we're not coming from a judgmental side.

Okay. Great advice. So seek help. There's someone to listen and a parents keep an eye out so that we can help give the support that we need and always let the school know how we can help. Yeah. In fact, the serial card that we got, it was a mom brought it in. After I did a parent presentation, she found it. I'd never heard of it up to that point. And she said, Hey, I thought you might be interested in this. Yeah, she was nervous bringing it in, but it was a great conversation that we had and really opened her eyes to some new stuff. Well, I really appreciate you coming by ifs. It's things move so fast. It's easy to, uh, um, lose, lose touch, and not, not be as up to date as we think we are. So thank you very much. Now this has been a heavy topic. It's been really helpful and very informative, but we end all of our podcasts with two truths and a lie. It's your chance to lie to the superintendent. So, uh, despite the heavy topic, let's end on a lighter note and uh, mr. Honeywell, can you tell me two truths and a lie and tell me, let's see, let's see how my light detectors working today. I want to put on the poker face. All right. You ready? I'm ready. I've recently been hit in the face. I recently completed an Ironman triathlon and I've never smoked.

Hmm. Let's see. Number three is the lie never smoked. Yeah. False. False. Oh see, because I thought getting punched in the face and running a triathlon, kind of went together because you are a glutton for pain and punishment. If you do a triathlon. So certainly a punch in the face is really nothing. You were not recently punched in the face. I was recently punched in the face. So maybe the most positive thing in all is the lie. I have not done an iron man triathlon. Okay. Well, see, it's a compliment that I thought that was the truth right now to clarify, I do some boxing sparring at a local gym. And so that's where the punch in the face came. So, Oh, so it wasn't on purpose punch in the face. I mean, you try not to get hit in the face when you box, well, not on purpose. You knew that that was perhaps part of the bargain. I see so many layers to peel back on this particular two truths and a lie. It's been a pleasure. Thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Hudnall. And remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. See out there.

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