Heeding the advice of Christy Clark, resource officer for local schools, the city of Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen agreed that an ordinance will be drafted to include vaping under current tobacco prohibitions for minors.
Clark addressed the board’s regular meeting last Thursday, stressing the growing health risks involved with teens and pre-teens using vaping products.
She said the Juul products and other brands of vaping products “are huge right now in our schools.”
“The reason they are so popular is they are very discrete,” she said. “A lot of kids use them in class and the teacher may not even know, because the smell is there for a second, and then it’s gone. A lot of kids are sticking their mouths in their shirt and blowing the smoke down their shirt. They even make clothing now where you can put a string in your mouth from your hoody sweatshirt and vape that way.”
Concern has been raised over the dangers of vaping devices being used for reasons other than their designed function — to help quit smoking. Various lung ailments have been connected to vaping. Additionally, most vaping cartridges contain nicotine. They can also be used for ingesting marijuana-based products.
Clark said she is testing each confiscated device for traces of marijuana. A problem arises because the local tobacco ordinance defines tobacco products as “any substance containing tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe, tobacco snuff, chewing tobacco or dipping tobacco.”
“That doesn’t really describe what a Juul is,” Clark said.
She distributed copies of ordinances used by the cities of St. Charles and Farmington. They have added vapor products to the tobacco descriptions.
If such an addition is made to the ordinance, not only can the local schools discipline the students, but those 17 years of age could also receive a citation from the city.
See complete story in the December 18 edition of the Herald.