MSD Sees Increase in Student Vaping

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. This sharp increase has prompted the CDC to declare this an epidemic.

The Mansfield School District has not been exempt. Parents, administrators and law enforcement are also reporting an increase in vaping activity.

“For the past few years I feel that we have definitely seen an increase in vaping activity,” said Mansfield High School Principal Dr. Jim Best. “We adopted a very tough policy on vaping at MHS approximately 2-3 years ago.”

That policy reads:

4.23—TOBACCO AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Smoking or use of tobacco or products containing tobacco in any form (including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) in or on any real property owned or leased by a District school, including school buses owned or leased by the District, is prohibited. Students who violate this policy may be subject to legal proceedings in addition to student disciplinary measures.

With the exception of recognized tobacco cessation products, this policy’s prohibition includes any tobacco or nicotine delivery system or product.  Specifically, the prohibition includes any product that is manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, or under any other name or descriptor.

“It is very difficult to control vaping activity on campus,” added Best. “It seems to be as pervasive as the use of cell phones. My hope is that the FDA will become more aggressive in limiting the sales of vaping juice and devices to minor children. Up to now, it seems to be a wide open, unregulated substance, and it has become a challenge for schools nationwide.”

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. E-cigarettes not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products has announced that it intends to expand its jurisdiction over tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, but has not yet issued regulatory rules. Because e-cigarettes are largely unregulated, the agency does not have good information about them, such as the amounts and types of components and potentially harmful constituents.

“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug.  Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”

Officer Sean White with the Mansfield Police Department also acknowledged the problem. “We’re having trouble out at the high school with it and little bit at the middle school as well.”

If students are caught vaping, they may be subject to legal proceedings in addition to student disciplinary measures.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

One Reply to “MSD Sees Increase in Student Vaping”

  1. Matt says:

    I know there are students getting caught and nothing is happening to them. So they feel like the punishment doesn’t matter. If we hold these kids accountable for their actions things would change. The students laugh at the disciplinary actions that are taken…Makes it hard on us parent’s with children who don’t so this to keep away from.

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