LINCOLN, Neb.-- As the use of E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes, continue to rise among teenagers, Lincoln Public School staff are cracking down on the popular tobacco alternative.
E-cigs or vaporizers have never been allowed on any school grounds within the LPS district, but the policy was never specific because the devices are a recent trend.
Before April, the sale and use of E-cigs and vaporizers regarding minors was legal in the state of Nebraska. But after lawmakers passed a bill outlawing the use, nearly all high school students had to stop, except some seniors.
But that didn’t mean those of legal age could take them to school.
“Once E-cigarettes became prevalent and we knew it was something that was going to be here, all E-cigarettes all delivery devices like that are not allowed in the schools,” said Director of Security of Lincoln Public Schools, Joseph Wright. “They aren’t suitable for the environment that we’re in.”
The policy is now clear, but Wright said LPS never had a huge problem with students bringing the devices to school. Now the biggest challenge will be detecting them.
“Some can look like a cigarette, others can look like a fountain pen or an inhaler,” said Wright.
Johnny Barajas, a vapor consultant at Lincoln Vapor agrees.
“The sky is the limit,” said Barajas. “The possibilities are literally endless because of the way you can match them up, the creativity that you can put into it is your preference.”
Wright said it’s up to school administrators, teachers, and security to be on the lookout for students using banned devices.
Barajas adds students should be smart and leave them at home.
“They’re probably going to end up spending $100 and if you take it to school with you you’re more than likely going to get it confiscated,” said Barajas. “So I make sure to tell them not to take it with them there.”
Since the law passed, banning the use of E-cigs for minors, retail stores like Lincoln Vapor are required to ask for an I.D. before selling to someone who looks under the age of 18.