students say vaping still a problem at school
(WPRI) The data is clear; e cigarette use among teenagers has never been higher. In fact, more teens now use e cigarettes than conventional tobacco, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the latest Behavior Survey from the Rhode Island Department of Health found nearly one out of five high schoolers used e cigarettes in 2015.
A new law went into effect in Rhode Island this month to address the e cigarette, or craze. As of Jan. 1, e cigarette smoking is banned on school grounds in the state. But students we spoke to say that hasn stopped their classmates.
like, leave class and go to the bathroom and do it there, said Makayla Soares, a sophomore at Mount Hope High School in Bristol. they just pull it out in class and vape. said the vaping devices are often small and easy to hide.
are little ones that are [tiny], you barely notice them, she said. are some that look like little USB ports. They are really disguisable, so even in school and stuff, it real easy for kids to just pull one out and vape. only are they easy to hide; vaping supplies are also apparently easy to buy.
honestly so easy, said Allie Revis, a senior at Mount Hope. you just go to the right stores, I guess they just kind of don care how old you are to sell these things to you. So they just basically sell them to you, no matter how old you are. also said she has seen classmates vape on or near school grounds.
see people try and hide it in school and I see people just outside of school constantly rip a Juul or a Fix or a Pulse, or sometimes just a big vape,
and it produces a lot of smoke, she said. it just so bad for them. asked to estimate how many students are using e cigarettes, Revis answer is alarming.
of my friends, probably at least 8 out of 10, she said. pretty common. But I like the one person that just stopped. asked if she ever tried vaping, Revis replied, have tried it. Obviously people have like passed it around but I had like taken one hit of it basically, and it was like nothing special. So why just do it constantly when it just going to lead to problems? what some Rhode Island lawmakers like Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D Narragansett, are trying to prevent when it comes to kids and vaping any more problems. Tanzi sponsored a new law that took effect this month. Among other items, it prohibits anyone from smoking e cigarettes on school grounds.
think now we need to start treating e cigarettes and these vaping devices as we have tobacco for all of these years, Tanzi said.
gotten very positive feedback from parents as well, she said of the new law. don think there will be any problem with implementing it. I think the schools are going to appreciate that they now have a definitive rule in place. said stories from parents and students were a major driving force in her pursuit of the new law.
heard stories from parents in my district who said their children, they freshmen in high school, and they afraid to go into the bathrooms, Tanzi said. don know what the other students are doing in there. Are they smoking pot with these devices? Are they smoking cigarettes? They intimidated and they don want to be in an environment where those devices are being used. we spoke to seem to agree that any measure seeking to curb vaping in schools is a good idea.
kind of sad honestly. I mean they are everywhere, Revis added.
have seen people take it out openly in class and nobody is fazed by it, Soares said.
The new law also prohibits the distribution of free tobacco products and vaping products to anyone under the age of 18, or the distribution of any kind of coupons or vouchers to minors.
use flavors like bubble gum for example, and cotton candy,
Tanzi explained. feel like they being marketed directly to children. statute in the new law requires that all liquids used in e cigarettes be sold with child resistant packaging.