E-cigarettes are growing in popularity among teens.

E-cigarettes are growing in popularity among teens.

E-cigarettes banned from school district grounds

"...if a 13-year-old girl or boy is making a bad health choice we feel it’s our responsibility to discourage it,” - Dave DeRosa

While many areas of society are still engaged in the debate on whether or not e-cigarettes are an acceptable alternative to traditional tobacco products, J.L. Crowe Secondary has stepped up and announced that it has banned the electronic instruments from school property, as of Wednesday.

E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes or vapourizers, are battery-powered devices that use a heating element to turn any one of a variety of liquid solutions into a vapour, which can be inhaled, similar to smoking cigarettes or cigars.

Earlier in the year, Greg Luterbach, superintendent of schools for School District 20, sent out a district-wide memo prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes on all district grounds, buildings, buses, and vehicles.

“I guess it’s definitely a concern, adolescents experiment and if a 13-year-old girl or boy is making a bad health choice we feel it’s our responsibility to discourage it,” Dave DeRosa, principal at JL Crowe, said last week. “Our focus on it is as an educational health and safety concern. I understand there may have been good intent originally, to reduce harm, but there seems to be a proliferation of flavours targeted towards children. It entices them to engage in addictive behavior at an influential age.”

The solutions used in the e-cigs can come in a wide variety of flavours and, most controversially, with varying amounts of nicotine, which can be inhaled as a component of the vapour.

They produce no actual smoke and very little noticeable smell but can still give the appearance of an individual in the act of smoking a cigarette.

E-cigarettes are available online and in a number of locations around the Greater Trail area.

“I knew it was coming,” said Simon Boka, co-owner of Sound West Audio Video Unlimited in Trail.

“The biggest problem is a lack of education, people see it as an ‘attack on our kids’ but it really isn’t. I do not sell nicotine products to anyone under 19. We sell the kits and parts but no nicotine.”

Boka maintains that e-cigarettes are an effective way for people who are already addicted to tobacco to quit smoking by using the electronic version to eventually reduce their dependence on nicotine, the primary addictive substance in tobacco products.

“There is about an 80 per cent success rate with people using this product,” Boka said. “It won’t help if you don’t want to quit but it takes away the craving and it’s visual, when you see the vapour you feel like you’re smoking, it seems to work better but you only exhale steam. There’s a bias against smoking and people see it and think of smoking.”

While DeRosa acknowledges that while even some of the students are using the e-cigs to quit real cigarettes, an increase of reports of students using the devices in and around the school has lead to the ban.

The health and safety memo in the school’s newsletter states that, “e-cigarettes observed on school property will be confiscated and turned into the office and the student will be warned. Parents will be contacted and the e-cigarette will be turned over to the parent. Repeat offenses will result in further discipline and possibly leading to suspension for defiance.”

DeRosa explains that one concern is where the devices are being used and another is possible sharing of the devices which could lead to younger students adopting the habit.

“Historically, in a population of 850 to 900 students we have 20 to 25 per cent are chronic users of tobacco products,” he said. “We have had some senior students who are using them to quit and we tell them that it is their responsibility to not share them, to ensure that others are not using them for other reasons. Don’t have it out in school.

“We’re worried about normalizing new behavior and a new product when we’re not really aware of the consequences over time and, at this point, there doesn’t seem to be any real control over the product. We provide supports and services through a child and youth care worker to meet with kids to support them to quit.

“Kids need to know about what are the rules and what are the consequences and we just want to be clear about that.”

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read