Add e-cigarettes to school smoking ban

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. is considering updating its policy regarding smoking and tobacco use to add Juuls and e-cigarettes as substances that contain tobacco and nicotine.

The change would prohibit students from using the devices on school property.

We think this is a good step, and should receive approval at the Sept. 9 school board meeting.

The City of Columbus enacted a similar public vaping ban in August, which will take effect Oct. 19. The city’s amended smoking ordinance will prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes and vape pens, in places where smoking is banned in the city.

Amending the school district’s policy on smoking and tobacco use to include electronic smoking devices would help make it consistent with the city’s policy, and send a stronger message to youths.

That is needed.

The use of e-cigarettes and electronic smoking devices has jumped among BCSC students in Grades 7-12. According to data presented at a city council meeting, 29 percent of high school seniors at Bartholomew County School Corp. schools have reported using an e-cigarette.

Serious health concerns exist about the harm these devices can do.

Researchers and experts caution that most electronic cigarettes contain harmful or potentially harmful ingredients, including nicotine, an addictive substance that naturally occurs in tobacco plants that has been linked to increased blood pressure and spiked levels of adrenaline, which can increase a user’s heart rate to increase and potentially lead to a heart attack, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s website.

Some electronic cigarette cartridges contain as much as 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine, according to Truth, a national anti-smoking campaign aimed at teenagers.

Vaping has been blamed for a respiratory illness that has affected more than 200 people in the U.S.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box has expressed concern that vaping will lead to more youths smoking.

We think amending the school district’s policy about smoking and tobacco use is the right thing to do.

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