We've come a long way from the days of "Smokin' in the Boy's Room" but the alternative use of e-cigarettes by young adults could be just as dangerous.

Cedar Rapids Police are seeing a rise in teenagers "vaping" at area high schools and it has parents worried.

E-cigarette and other devices known as "vape pens" deliver nicotine, but contain no tobacco. Nevertheless, like cigarettes, the use of vaping products is age-restricted and law enforcement is seeing a "huge increase" in the number of people being charged with illegal use.

CRPD Officer Charity Hansel said she has issued more citations this school year for vaping than ever before.

The Gazette reports 42 arrests have been made at Cedar Rapids Community School District high schools this year for an alcohol or drug offense compared to just 16 last school year. At Kennedy, there have been 17 of those arrests since August.

“We all know it’s a really big jump,” Kennedy Principal Jason Kline said. “We’ve had a huge increase of kids doing it inside the building.

It's a $50 fine for first-time offenders, that's not small change to a high school student.

Beyond the legal is the health concerns that vaping may cause. Nicotine is a known highly addictive substance, and vape pens can deliver much larger amounts than traditional cigarettes. Studies may be inconclusive as to the long term effects but it begs the question: why risk possible future health problems over the practice of sucking on a vape pen?

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