I am writing to bring to your attention the increasing use of electronic cigarettes, in many forms, in our community. Scientists are still learning how e-cigarettes affect health. However, there is already enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use by young people, including recent studies that suggest e-cigarettes are the latest “gateway” to harder drug use.
Electronic cigarettes are devices that utilize stored electricity to heat a liquid into vapors, which are then inhaled by the user. The liquid can be anything from a flavored water-type mixture to liquid nicotine to THC, the principal active element of marijuana. These devices are relatively easy to conceal and very easy to disguise.
Here are a couple examples of what these devices look like:
- This is a brand of a type of e-cigarette called “Juul.” The use is sometimes called “vaping” or “juuling”
- Here is a Juul device disguised as a Sharpie Pen:
- Another style that looks like a ball-point pen at first glance:
The vapor from e-cigarettes, when used with liquid nicotine or THC, is unsafe and harmful to young people. We know that nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain. The use of these devices on school grounds is both against school policy and against a city ordinance. Students caught using or in possession of these devices are subject to school discipline.
I share this information with you to make you aware of this public health concern and with the hope that you can have a good conversation with your student about their health and your expectations for their choices regarding electronic cigarettes.
As always, thank you for your partnership!