Students caught using Juuls or other electronic smoking devices in school will receive immediate out-of-school suspension beginning next school year, HHS Principal Bob Cotter said.
Currently, students caught with the devices receive in-school suspension. The policy change is county-wide, Cotter said, after high school principals decided the problem had become widespread enough to warrant the tougher penalty.
“I really think there’s this feeling that Juuling is better than smoking,” Cotter told The Ville News recently. “But, you know, you’re still getting nicotine. And you’re getting it at a higher concentration in a Juul than you are in a cigarette.”
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 1.3 million increase in the number of teen tobacco users from 2017 to 2018, mostly because of the surge in popularity of Juuls and other e-cigarettes, also known as “vapes.”
About 3.05 million, or 20.8 percent, of high school students and 570,000, or 4.9 percent, of middle school students said they had vaped at least once in the previous month, the CDC announced in February.
HHS School Resource Officer Joseph Hutcherson said that with all of the health risks and now the stiffer penalty for getting caught, students should think twice before vaping: “Moral of the story is it’s not worth it,” he said.
Story by Nikki Pomohaci, Alfred Allen and Cheyenne Metelka