Judge issue court order for confiscated vapes to be destroyed in unconventional move to combat teenage vaping.
There have been many attempts by public health officials, lawmakers, and school administrators to help curb the rise of teenage vaping. From improved education on the risks of nicotine on the developing body to legislation raising the age you can legally purchase vapor products to 21, these officials are doing all they can to help prevent vaporizers from getting into teens hands.
A Tennessee Juvenile Court Judge recently issued a court order for all vaping products seized from juveniles to be destroyed. The move came after school resource officers noted an increase in the number of vaping devices being confiscated from students, and learned the cartridges could hold more than just nicotine.
Public health and district officials have applauded the court order for giving them an additional tool to combat the rise of teenage vaping. While some have criticized the move as potentially being a bit excessive, most relent they understand there’s nothing else for police to do with the seized contraband.
There has been a long-standing battle for public health and school officials in combating teenage smoking. While teenage nicotine-vaping is of top concern and priority, some officials have noted students are actually vaporizing cannabis oils containing THC as opposed to traditional nicotine-containing vapor liquids.
Unconventional But Needed
In Cumberland County, Tennessee, Juvenile Court Judge Larry Warner recently issued a court order for all vapor products seized from juveniles to be destroyed. Judge Warner issued the order after school resource officers in the district noted an increase in the number of vapor products they were confiscated from students.
Cumberland County School District officials also recently learned the cartridges may also contain other active ingredients aside from nicotine such as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. They have since developed procedures for dealing with tobacco and vaping use in their schools.
First-time offenders will be subject to punishment under school disciplinary policy, where disciplinary options range from detention to corporal punishment. On the second offense students will be issued a citation to appear before the youth services officer and be required to attend a tobacco and vaping class that costs $20. On the third offense, students will be cited to appear in juvenile court directly before Judge Warner. Any products confiscated from students will be turned over to the school’s resource officer to be destroyed.
It’s important for school administrators and law enforcement to be proactive in preventing and combating teen vaporizer usage. While unconventional to some, measures like this give school administrators and law enforcement additional tools in dealing with the issue of underage vaping.
Facts About Vaping
While teenage cannabis vaping may be on the rise, research shows that nicotine vaping rates are shockingly low despite repeated myths of a teenage vaping “epidemic.” A survey conducted by Public Health England featuring over 60,000 teenage participants found as few as 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens who try vaping ever take it up habitually.
Misinformation such as the unfounded claims of a vaping epidemic may potentially be creating a negative stigma against a potential public health tool. A survey by Action on Smoking and Health found just 13% of adults believe vaping is safer than smoking, with 26% saying it’s just as bad, if not worse.
Nicotine vaping is extremely beneficial in smoking cessation as a proven reduced-harm alternative to tobacco. A study conducted by the University of Louisville found vaping to be the single most effective smoking cessation tool available on the market today, beating out prescription options such as Chantix.
Another study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer compared to smokers. This comes along separate studies from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Cancer Center, who found vaping to be 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
While somewhat unprecedented, this unconventional move allows law enforcement to dispose of seized contraband from students properly. The added layer of formal cooperation between school administrators and resource officers is a pivotal tool in the battle against teen vaping.
Now that the precedent has been established, one can hope other school districts throughout the country will follow suit. All school districts should enact formal policies in place for school officials and law enforcement to deal with contraband confiscated from students.
Parents should advocate to their local school boards so their districts to adopt similar policies. As parents have one of the biggest voices and roles to play in regards to teen vaping and informing school officials of such concepts they should be at the forefront of keeping their teens safe.
How do you feel about the Judge’s court order? Do you believe the move is excessive or needed in order to send a message about teen vaping? Please let us know what you think in the comments. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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