School officials may be able to confiscate and dispose of vaping products found in possession of students after the proposal of a series of bills that Utah lawmakers are considering that deal with underage use of e-cigarettes in the state.
Many students caught with vaping products in school have their parents come get them and then will be back at it the next day. This has put principals at a loss for a solution to the problem.
The problem with e-cigarettes is that teens are drawn to them because of the buzz that it gives them. It’s alarming because they get addicted to nicotine so quickly without even realising it.
With recent news reports suggesting that the Trump administration is backing away from its planned ban on flavored e-cigarettes, Utah school officials are pressed for a way to deal with the situation. In response to this news, Utah Senator, Mitt Romney said “We have a health emergency on our hands, and the administration must follow through on its commitment to ban flavors that entice our youth.”
However, in Utah, a judge blocked a similar ban on flavored e-cigarettes, because there was no correlation that regulators could find between them and the rise in cases of lung illness.
A recent state survey revealed that 9.7% of students in Utah had used e-cigarettes in the past month. Those figures exceed those of marijuana, alcohol, and use of regular cigarettes.
While this is a huge problem, would this new law be overstepping, as far as private property goes. Alex Carras of Riverton High School said, “They shouldn’t be allowed to destroy a student’s personal property.” Other students have expressed similar opinions to this.
Pulsipher’s bill, which was unanimously approved by the committee, would allow administrators to take and dispose of vaping devices. They would even be able to turn the object into the police, if it contained illegal substance.
While the bill makes things easier for schools to have less of a distraction within the learning environment, destroying the problem may not be that easy. Students could go back and get a new device, making sure to be more careful around school so that they don’t get caught.
The legislation will also require schools to educate students about the dangers of vaping, as well as providing money to address problems like anxiety, depression, and isolation in a more positive way. These factors, as well as others, contribute to why students began to use these products in the first place.