Vaping in Schools

Health Effects of Vaping

Educators and health experts worry about the long-term effects of nicotine on students’ developing brains.

Vaping is harmful to students’ bodies and brains. There are toxic chemicals and metals in many e-cigarettes, and vaping can cause respiratory issues, and potentially cardiovascular problems, and even seizures. Unfortunately, many teens are not aware of the hazards of vaping. 

Congress made the decision to raise the age from 18 to 21 as part of a 1.4 trillion dollar spending bill. The president signed the law on December 20, 2019. And the FDA implemented a partial ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which are frequently and heavily used in both college and high school.


Vaping in Schools

With reports of at least one death linked to vaping and many cases of teens and young adults hospitalized, school leaders are even more anxious about the epidemic of e-cigarettes. They are intensifying prevention and treatment.

From strict zero-tolerance policies that came with mandatory suspensions for students caught vaping or with vaping paraphernalia on campus, to programs that teach high school and middle school students the dangers of vaping.

The Knox County School District went to extreme measures to implement the prevention and consequences of vaping on campus. For example, a students first offense may result in a citation from law enforcement and they will receive a $117 court cost. Along with two days out-of-school suspension, and upon returning they have to attend a restorative learning center for intervention services, where they are required to complete four, fifty-minute INDEPTH videos (Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education Prevention Tobacco and Health) and make a presentation for the students, parents, and staff members. A students second offense could result in a citation from law enforcement, a $164 court cost, and four days of out-of-school suspension. And a third defense, the court cost remains the same, and the school conducts a disciplinary hearing that could result in 5 to 10 days of out-of-school suspension. Any vaping that contains THC will result in a zero-tolerance offense (180 day out-of-school suspension and an alternative placement will be offered). 

The new anti-vaping policies are supported by many staff and students. Since they were enforced on January 13, 2020 vaping has declined significantly in Karns High School.