Chris and Alyssa Lagoni know too well how seriously smoking can affect someone’s health. They both have lost loved ones to the health effects of smoking.
Now, with a surge in the popularity of vaping, the husband-and-wife pair fears the generation below them is getting hooked on vaping in a similar way young adults in the ‘60s and ‘70s got hooked on smoking. With the launch of a family business, they’re hoping to curb some of that.
“We’re big on anti-tobacco, so it hits our hearts. Both of us have lost family members to some of the health effects of smoking and tobacco. I think a lot of people, if they had more information about smoking in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they probably wouldn’t have started. Now we have the same cycle over again,” said Chris. “We have young people starting to vape before we know all the medical effects.”
The Lagnois’ new business, called Next Tier Products, launched last month with the promotion of a device called a Halo Smart Sensor. The device, which looks similar to a smoke detector, is an environmental sensor that can detect vaping and 13 other chemicals, including THC, in the air.
The Lagonis hope area schools and similar institutions will begin purchasing and installing the devices in bathrooms and similar areas to deter students from vaping and, in turn, ensure no students are subjected to secondhand smoke.
“If you’re a school, you want to be able to monitor and know if someone is vaping in the bathroom. I think we’re seeing more and more about the dangers of vaping as it becomes more prevalent. We’re seeing more issues. We don’t know much about secondhand vaping,” he said.
While there are many unknowns about the dangers of vaping, the latest trend in the news in the last several months has been as a result of teens and young adults suffering severe health consequences from vaping. Earlier this month, the first Indiana death from vaping was reported.
In addition to the Lagonis helping spread awareness locally, it’s being done on the state level as well. Late last month Gov. Eric Holcomb kicked off a “Vape Free Indiana” campaign at Fishers High School, a move that Chris said was encouraging.
The campaign aims to draw awareness to some of the dangers of vaping, which the U.S. Surgeon General has called an epidemic that “demands action to protect the lives of young people.”
According to campaign material, e-cigarette usage has increased among high school students by nearly 400 percent from 2012, while cigarette use has decreased. Since vaping has spiked, several schools around the country have embraced vaping detectors to prevent students from smoking in bathrooms, closets, or locker rooms.
“We’ve been excited with the governor taking some action in trying to make vaping a focus,” Chris said. “They’re putting out more monitoring by the Department of Health for vaping issues. There were some articles last spring in the paper about some schools are even limiting students’ bathroom access. We think those students deserve a vape-free bathroom, so it’s important to encourage kids not to vape at school for everybody’s health.”
The Halo Smart Sensor was created by an American company called IPVideo Corporation, and several distributors in different markets are pushing the product. With the start of the Lagonis’ new business, Chris said he and his family felt this product was a relevant and worthwhile product to help get to market Howard County, as well as north central Indiana.
Chris and his wife, who are Kokomo residents, are being assisted by their daughter, Lauren Lagoni, who’s helping with digital media communications.
For more information on the product, visit nexttierproducts.com/facility-security.