More teens sneaking vaping devices that look like flash drives, markers into suburban high schools – Chicago Tribune

Smoking in the bathroom has returned with a vengeance and a twist at some Chicago-area high schools, where administrators worry that new ways to get a nicotine fix are making the illegal habit even more appealing to students, and harder for teachers to catch.

Educators say they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students caught vaping on campus in recent months. Teens use devices that range from a JUUL — a slim, rectangular device that looks like a USB flash drive — to e-cigarettes, which resemble highlighter markers or oversized lipsticks.

Illinois law prohibits anyone 17 and younger from buying or possessing tobacco of any kind, and state lawmakers are considering a proposal to raise the age to 21 statewide. In 14 cities across the state, including Chicago, the legal age for purchasing tobacco has been raised to 21.

But that hasn’t stopped local students from sneaking vaping devices into their backpacks, shirt sleeves and lockers.

“There’s a glory to this,” Bill Walsh, principal at Hinsdale Central High School, said of students smoking e-cigarettes. He said

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