DORCHESTER, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials from Dorchester District Two (DD2) teamed up with the Dorchester County Alcohol and Drug Commission to host a series of workshops informing parents about the dangers of vaping and its popularity among teens.

Vaping and e-cigarette usage among teens has been rising steadily since 2017. In 2021, roughly one in every five students in South Carolina admitting to vaping. The trend has many parents concerned.

Kelley Piscitelli has a student at DD2 and said “it was quite alarming to see how many kids are vaping.” She said she felt worried that kids are being targeted, and she isn’t alone.

Officials say tobacco companies pour hundreds of millions of dollars into marketing vaping products to teens every year.

Chris Rollison, the director of the Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission, said that the goal of the workshops is to make parents aware of the problem so that they can be a part of the solution:

“And the three things we’re trying to do is explain to parents of Dorchester District 2 that there is a vaping epidemic amongst young people. The second is to compel them to have a conversation about vaping with their young people and number three is to give them to tools to actually have a production conversation and it’s an on-going conversation, it’s not a one time talk. This is something they see.”

DD2 and Dorchester County Alcohol and Drug Commission are also partnering with Smokefree SC who offers a Vape Talk presentation at no cost to parents, organizations, schools, anyone who is interested.

DD2 plans to host two more sessions during the month of September. The first will be on September 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Fort Dorchester High School. The second will be September 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Summerville High School.