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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

High Schools Treat E-Cigarettes More Severely

Despite e-cigarette companies contention that the devices are not marketed toward teenagers, a number of high school students have been found to have them on their person. While most schools treat e-cigarettes as another form of tobacco, some schools classify the devices as drug paraphernalia because they can be used to smoke illicit drugs, the Associated Press reports.

The most recent Monitoring the Future study found that more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than traditional tobacco cigarettes. This means that the likelihood of teenagers being caught with e-cigarette devices is much greater than it once was.

A drug paraphernalia offense carries a much stiffer punishment than being caught with tobacco. High school students caught with cigarettes usually face detention and a letter home, according to the article. Those caught with e-cigarettes that are viewed as drug paraphernalia often face long suspensions, drug tests, and can have possession of drug paraphernalia marked on their school record.

Schools that treat e-cigarette possession more severely can be found in:
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • Washington
  • Connecticut
“Our goal is to reduce access and discourage use on campus,” said Sarah D’Annolfo, Dean of Students at The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, a co-ed boarding school.

“It definitely sparks conversation within the school community about e-cigarette use and the possible dangers and the possible benefits,” D’Annolfo said. “That conversation alone is a hugely important learning opportunity.”

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