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E-Cigarette Bans Instituted in Growing Number of School Districts

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School districts around the country are implementing e-cigarette bans as part of their tobacco policies, according to USA Today.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new rules in April that would allow the agency to regulate e-cigarettes. The proposed rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to anyone under age 18.

Schools are joining institutions such as hospitals and businesses in banning e-cigarettes, Bronson Frick, Associate Director at Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, told the newspaper.

Federal officials have said it will be at least another year before the proposed FDA rules take effect. In light of the delay, school districts are taking matters into their own hands, says Cathy Callaway of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. “Even when the FDA regulations are in effect, they won’t have the authority to prohibit the use of these products in public places or school grounds,” she said. “School districts will still need to take that step.” Schools that ban e-cigarette use for everyone create “a social norm that the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is not an acceptable or healthy behavior.”

School districts that have recently banned e-cigarettes include Allentown, Pennsylvania. C. Russell Mayo, the district’s superintendent, said, “It’s similar to smoking and we don’t know enough about it. So we’ll err on the side of caution.” Lora Wimsatt of the Daviess County, Kentucky School District, which banned e-cigarettes, said, “”They’re an adult product. They’re not appropriate for school-aged students.”

E-cigarettes are also banned in Clark County, Nevada and Kyle, Texas.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Fr. Jack Kearney / July 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Everyone wants to keep ecigs away from kids. So why did the American Cancer Society fight legislation in Rhode Island that would have made sales to minors illegal? Ms. Callaway seems to think that ecigs for adults are not “acceptable” even though they are helping millions of people quit smoking. MIght the millions they get from the pharmaceutical industry be clouding their judgment?

    • Rachel / July 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Because ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems), which include e-cigarettes, vapes, and hookah pens, delivery nicotine, they should be kept away from kids. Also, there are no definitive studies claiming that e-cigarettes are helping people quit. One report about a study from UC San Francisco found that those who used e-cigarettes to quit were not more likely to quit. than those who didn’t. Personal stories cannot be generalized to the entire population. If these devices were to be used with a formally developed cessation program that monitored the user and the levels of nicotine they used, perhaps something could come of them. In the meantime, kids don’t need their brains to be damaged by nicotine because of false claims.

      • Alex C / July 13, 2014 at 11:23 am

        Actually, there is at least one study from the UK more credible than the one you refer to from UCSF which shows e-cigarettes are 60% more effective in helping smokers stop smoking than the commonly referenced cessation products. Furthermore, you’re assertion that complete nicotine cessation is the only acceptable goal fails to account for the fact that most of us actually derive a benefit from using it. Given it’s relatively benign effects on health (i.e. similar to coffee) and negligible addiction liability when removed from smoke (studied as part of the approval process for NRTs), discouraging adult use of nicotine seems rather silly.

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