Vaping, E-Cigarettes, Nicotine and More
“It’s easy to quit smoking, I’ve done it hundreds of times”- Mark Twain
Did you know all vaping products contain nicotine? Nicotine is an addictive drug. Not only is nicotine present in all vaping products, but they also contain other harmful chemicals. This combination of chemicals creates the aerosol which is inhaled by a user. In addition, newer vaping devices are capable of dispensing THC, the addictive and mood altering substance in marijuana. Big tobacco companies use more than 77,000 flavors targeting teenage users. Flavors including unicorn, green apple, and buttered popcorn, ALL of which contain nicotine and harmful chemicals.
The use of E-cigarettes is increasing, and a health concern; however, in 2016 69% of males and 76% of females in Mille Lacs Co. reported NOT using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes during the past 30 days. (MN Student Survey). Princeton Schools acknowledge the vaping epidemic and has a goal of educating students, parents and the community of the dangers of these products. Resources included on this page address the harmful effects of vaping products, legal implications, MSHSL penalties, and resources for how to quit.
- What is Vaping?
- What Are Princeton Schools Doing?
- Health Risks and Addiction
- Laws, State and School Policies
- Athletic and Activities Policies
- How to Quit
What is a vape?
A vape is a slang term for an electronic cigarette device that uses a battery to heat up a liquid containing nicotine, flavorings and other additives. These devices are also commonly called e-cigs, e-hookahs, e-pipes, vape pens, hookah pens, JUULs, or personal vaporizers. The users inhale this aerosol into their lungs and exhale the vapor. In addition to nicotine, vapes can also be used to deliver other drugs such as marijuana.
This box shows vapes that were confiscated at Princeton High School
As you can see below, these devices come in many shapes and sizes which can be easily confused with everyday items:
The pods containing the nicotine, flavoring, and additives are shown below:
What Princeton Schools are doing about Electronic Cigarettes
We include information about e-cigarettes in a review with our secondary students of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors at the start of the school year and it is included in our student handbook.
Other steps we take to combat the use of e-cigarettes:
- Education in health classes
- Teachers are on high alert for e-cigarette products
- Discipline is combined with educational components
- Implementing an educational curriculum at the High School and the Middle School beginning the the Fall of 2019 (Catch My Breath)
- Communication with families and staff
- Enforcing our policy and the law which, if caught, students will be provided with educational information and could be issued a citation (up to $300), and/or be given in school suspension.
Health Risks and Addiction
The available research on electronic cigarettes indicates their use poses serious health risks both short and long term. Click here to view a webinar released on May 22, 2018. Short-term risks include throat, lung and even eye irritation. Existing research demonstrates that long-term effects include “popcorn lung” (a chronic lung infection), high blood pressure, heart problems, increased risk of addiction to other substances and nicotine addiction.
Because e-cigarettes are poorly regulated, it is not always known what chemicals are actually in the vaping liquid. What is known is that ALL e-cigarette liquid contains nicotine, contrary to what some may think. Below is a list of potential chemicals in the vaping aerosol. Further information on the health risks can be found here from the Office of the Surgeon General.
Here are some tips for how to talk to your kids about vaping.
At any time during the calendar year, a student shall not, regardless of the quantity:
A. use or consume, have in possession a beverage containing alcohol;
B. use or consume, have in possession tobacco; or,
C. use or consume, have in possession, buy, sell or give away any other controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.
D. use or consume, have in possession, buy, sell or give away products containing or products used to deliver nicotine, tobacco products and other chemicals.
“Tobacco products” means: any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, or any component, part or accessory of a tobacco product.
E. use or consume, have in possession, buy sell or give away any substance or product where the intent of such use of the substance or product is to induce intoxication, excitement, or stupefaction of the central nervous system, except under the direction and supervision of a medical doctor. Such substances or products shall include, but are not limited to, synthetic drugs, gasoline, glue, aerosol devices, bath salts, and any substances addressed by Minnesota or Federal Law.
Definition - Category I Activities: Those League-sponsored activities in which a member school has a schedule of interscholastic contests, exclusive of League-sponsored tournaments.
● Athletic Activities
● Fine Arts Activities 1) Debate 2) Speech Activities including One Act Play - when a school schedules a season of interscholastic contests.
A. First Violation Penalty The student shall lose eligibility for the next two consecutive interscholastic contests or two weeks, 14 calendar days, whichever is greater, of a season in which the student is a participant.
B. Second Violation Penalty The student shall lose eligibility for the next six consecutive interscholastic contests or three weeks, 21 calendar days, whichever is greater, in which the student is a participant.
C. Third or Subsequent Violation Penalty
1) The student shall lose eligibility for the next 12 consecutive interscholastic contests or four weeks, 28 calendar days, whichever is greater, in which the student is a participant.
2) A student who chooses to become a participant in a treatment program may become eligible for participation after a minimum period of six weeks after entering treatment if all of the following conditions are met:
a) The student is assessed as chemically dependent,
b) enters treatment voluntarily, and
c) the director of the treatment center certifies that the student has successfully completed the treatment program.
d) The treatment option cannot be used for the first or second violation. Successful completion of a chemical dependency treatment program will satisfy only the most recent violation. Any other violations for which the penalty has not been satisfied must still be served in full
D. Applying the Penalty
1) Penalties shall be progressive beginning with the student’s first violation and continuing throughout the student’s high school career. Penalties shall be served consecutively.
2) Violation Confirmation Definition: The violation shall be confirmed when the administrator responsible for the athletics/activities program has informed the student that the student has violated a bylaw and is now under the penalty. The notification shall be verbal and also in writing.
3) Counting Weeks:
a) The weeks shall begin on the date that the violation is confirmed by the school administrator and extend for the required number of calendar days.
b) For the purpose of this bylaw, a week is seven calendar days. The week starts the date the violation is confirmed and the student/student’s parents or guardians are notified.
c) At the beginning of the season, practice and conditioning weeks are counted.
d) The student must participate in and complete the entire season in which the penalty has been applied for the penalty to count. As examples: a student cannot begin participation in a program at the start of the season, serve the penalty and then quit after the suspension has been served; nor can a student join a program after the season has begun, and serve the penalty.
4) A student who is under penalty for a violation of a League bylaw may not join a second sport in the same season in order to fulfill a penalty.
5) Practices, jamborees, inter-school scrimmages and previews are not interscholastic contests and may not be counted, however, the student is eligible to participate.
6) A student who participates in both Category I and Category II activities shall serve the penalty prescribed for that violation in both Category I and Category II activities in which the student participates.
7) Denial Disqualification: A student shall be disqualified from all inter-scholastic athletics for nine additional weeks beyond the student’s original period of ineligibility when the student denies violation of the rule, is allowed to participate and then is subsequently found guilty of the violation.
Nicotine cessation, or quitting, is no different than trying to stop smoking. There are lots of different ways to stop nicotine use, regardless of how nicotine is consumed. Below are some links to resources and organizations designed to help individuals stop their nicotine use.