School districts around the country are implementing e-cigarette bans as part of their tobacco policies, according to USA Today.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new rules in April that would allow the agency to regulate e-cigarettes. The proposed rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to anyone under age 18.
Schools are joining institutions such as hospitals and businesses in banning e-cigarettes, Bronson Frick, Associate Director at Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, told the newspaper.
Federal officials have said it will be at least another year before the proposed FDA rules take effect. In light of the delay, school districts are taking matters into their own hands, says Cathy Callaway of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. “Even when the FDA regulations are in effect, they won’t have the authority to prohibit the use of these products in public places or school grounds,” she said. “School districts will still need to take that step.” Schools that ban e-cigarette use for everyone create “a social norm that the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is not an acceptable or healthy behavior.”
School districts that have recently banned e-cigarettes include Allentown, Pennsylvania. C. Russell Mayo, the district’s superintendent, said, “It’s similar to smoking and we don’t know enough about it. So we’ll err on the side of caution.” Lora Wimsatt of the Daviess County, Kentucky School District, which banned e-cigarettes, said, “”They’re an adult product. They’re not appropriate for school-aged students.”
E-cigarettes are also banned in Clark County, Nevada and Kyle, Texas.