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VCSC Board Looks to Add E-Cigarettes to Policy

Vigo County School's current smoking policy only includes tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Superintendent Danny Tanoos says the school board is looking to revise the policy to include e-cigarettes.
You can't take a smoke break on Vigo County School's property, or smoke inside any business in the county either. That's because of a 2012 ordinance making it illegal to use tobacco inside a public place. Neither the county ordinance nor the school's policy mentions electronic cigarettes.

"We feel like it has to be more specific to anything that simulates smoking and anything that has nicotine," said Vigo County School's Superintendent, Danny Tanoos. "Anything that would be considered a distraction like that in the school system."

According to the FDA, an e-cigarette is a battery operated product that delivers nicotine to the user. They haven't done enough studies to determine the risks associated with using the e-cigarettes and only those marketed for therapeutic use are regulated. That allows them to be targeted toward young people the way conventional cigarettes used to.

"Between 2000 and 2010 the numbers of youth, middle and high school students who used conventional cigarettes or combustible cigarettes decreased by a pretty good amount. However, the amount of us among middle and high school students of electronic cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012."

VCSC's policy only specifically mentions tobacco products. That poses a problem because electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, but not tobacco. With the rise in use of electronic cigarettes among teens Superintendent Tanoos recognizes the need to change the corporation's policy.

"It's something we're not going to allow in the schools, so we just need to fix our policy to meet the bans of today's expectations."

Superintendent Tanoos says the director of student services, Ray Azar, is working on the revisions and they could be added as soon as the end of February.
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