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.”
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