Local school districts crack down on e-cigarettes

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 03/14 2014 03:22PM

Updated 03/14 2014 07:17PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - A growing trend is alarming local school districts.

They are taking action to keep e-cigarettes out of students hands.

Between 2011 and 2012 the use of e-cigarettes increased from 3.3% to 6.8% in students grades six to 12.

Now local districts are working to ban the devices.

"We support the schools decision 100%" says Debra Hammond, Owner, EZ-Vapes E-Cigarette Shop.

Her store opened one year ago in Green Bay.

"We market to adults that are already smoking and that are looking for an alternative" she explains.

While EZ-Vapes has a strict 18 and over policy, school districts are finding that e-cigarettes appeal to teens. 

"It has more become a way of starting smoking and more kids are doing it and it is kind of a lead in drug so to speak, or a lead in to cigarettes" says Tony Klaubauf, District Administrator for Denmark.

Both Green Bay and Pulaski districts sent letters to parents outlining concerns. We have links to both letters at the top of this article.

They believe the candy flavors could encourage young people to become addicted to nicotine.

The owner of Ez Vapes disagrees pointing out that "Vodkas come in flavors also".

Green Bay and Denmark are the latest on a growing list of local districts re-writing their policies to make clear e-cigarettes are not allowed on campus. 

"As far as I know in Denmark we have had no instances of use, I think we are trying to get a little ahead of the curveball" says Klaubauf.

Appleton has already made the change.

Pulaski's says its policy already bans tobacco, fumes, vapors or other mood-altering substances.

With two teens at home, the owner of EZ-Vapes understands the concern.

"It is kind of like anything else out there, some parents monitor their kids caffeine or sugar. This is nicotine and it is addictive" she says.

In 2011 Wisconsin passed a law, making it illegal to sell nicotine products to minors, which includes e-cigarettes.

However, some states do not have those rules which has opened up sales on the internet.

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