Vapor Pens in school, where there is smoke there is fire?

Brandy Alba, Writer

They may like the taste or the fun of blowing a puff of smoke into their air, but Englewood students who have taken up e-cigarettes or Vapor pens need to know a few important things:
Number one: Vapes are dangerous
Number two: For anyone under the age of 18, they are illegal.

The devices heat a nicotine solution to create a vapor instead of burning tobacco. They come in numerous forms and have passed traditional smokes in popularity among teenagers. Schools, including Englewood, are getting serious about e-cigs and Vape pens. Not only because they are illegal for students, they can also be used to smoke illegal substances like marijuana.

Ok, so you still want to puff one? Well, many students think vapor pens can help you quit smoking. But Vapes contain nicotine that is addictive. They also have a bunch of other chemicals that really aren’t good for you. One of the biggest draws? Students can feel pressured from other people to belong and to feel normal, so if the rest of their peers are using Vapes, they are more likely to try it out.

We spoke to several students who didn’t want to give their names. We only asked their age and grade. Three 15-year-old freshmen were asked why they smoked Vape pens. They said, “I think it’s better than smoking cigarettes”, also, “It’s more of a hobby for me.” and lastly, “I have fun.”

They were also asked how they got the Vapes. Most said a friend gave it to them or they buy them off older people. An 18-year-old senior was asked why he Vapes, “It actually helped me quit smoking cigarettes.”

EHS Dean Justin Johnson says there are not many students who get busted for using a Vapor pen, “It does happen but it’s not often”, but he expects that to change. He wants students to stop using them because he doesn’t think they are very safe, “Students don’t know any better and they think that it’s better than smoking for real.” He says Vapor pen use started sometime last year. “Lately vapor pens use was reported by students using a Vape pen in their cars on school grounds, but it’s still not okay.”

No matter the reason, you need to know that on the TEC campus or anywhere in Englewood, there are rules and punishments for underage use of Vapor pens.

We spoke to Officer Watts about school rules. What happens if you get caught with a Vape pen on school grounds? He said if you are caught with it, the Vape pen would be confiscated, and booked as evidence, then the student would be issued a ticket, the student’s parents would be contacted. Afterward, the student would have to go to court and most likely have to do community service, then the student would go back to court and prove that they did community service. The student/parent would get the Vape pen back in 1-2 years. Since the law on Vape pens was changed recently, it is now a police issue if the student were to be caught with a Vape pen. It is now treated the same as tobacco.


School rules about Vape Pens

The laws surrounding Vape Pens are constantly changing. Here is the most up-to-date information.
School Rules: Vape Pens have always been against the rules at school and are treated the same as tobacco. It is against school rules to use or be in the possession of any form of Vape Pens on school grounds, including backpacks, cars, etc.
When found, Vape Pens will now be confiscated and turned over to the police.
Englewood Legal Rules:

The Englewood Police Department is now treating Vape Pens the same as tobacco. Anyone under the age of 18 found in the possession or use of a Vape Pen will be ticketed and the items confiscated as evidence.

Many states are trying to pass laws about e-cigs. Here is a link to the latest information.