2014-03-16 / News

Dryden Schools moves to snuff out e-cigarettes on campus

“We are concerned about the potential for addiction and abuse of these products”
BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616

DRYDEN — They’ve been around since 1963, but a recent uptick in the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, among young people has set off alarm bells from New York to Los Angeles.

On Monday the Dryden School Board voted unanimously to ban the use and possession of e-cigarettes on school property.

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that vaporize a mix of flavorings and nicotine. Some are made to look like cigarettes but many are covered with colorful, fanciful graphics. The devices were first marketed as way to help stop smoking, but are now being marketed as a substitute for cigarettes and health officials fret that flavorings like peach and grape-apple may help get more teens and sub-teens hooked on nicotine.

“We are concerned about the potential for addiction and abuse of these products. We don’t want the public to perceive them as a safer alternative to cigarettes,” an FDA spokesman said recently.

Last fall the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between 2011 and 2012 the percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes more than doubled.

“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.”

The study also found that 76.3 percent of middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days also smoked conventional cigarettes in the same period.

In other business, the board voted unanimously, without discussion, to revise Policy 9300, which deals with tobacco products on/in district premises.

The board has to vote on the change again in April and May before it goes in effect.

It voted to revise its graduation requirements, including dropping a required computer class. School board president Richard Nash said the revision is necessary to comply with Michigan Merit High School requirements.

The board also voted unanimously to revise its Cardinal Athletic Code to require students who quit one sport part way through the season to turn in all their equipment from the initial sport and wait three days before starting a new sport.

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