Madison City Schools’ Forum: Escape the Vape


Jillian Nance and Bryson Tesseneer

Madison City Schools organized a forum on vaping in an attempt to address concerns within our school system and raise awareness about the harmful effects of vaping. The forum will be at Madison City Hall on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 PM.

E-cigarettes have become a growing problem in school systems across the United States. Many kids are turning to easier ways to smoke in school, such as Juuls. The Juul is a brand of electronic cigarette that was made to help get smokers off of cigarettes. Teens across the US find these easy to conceal in any setting.

In addition to smoking nicotine products out of these, students smoke marijuana-based products and oils out of these Juuls and vapes. This is a rising concern considering that teens owning any of these products or substances is illegal.

According to Carla K. Johnson, a medical writer for the U.S. News World Report, “Nearly 1 in 11 U.S. students have used marijuana in electronic cigarettes.” Steve Sternberg in an article on FDA regulations of vaping products said, In August, the CDC reported that e-cigarette use increased 900 percent among U.S. high schoolers from 2011 to 2015.”

These stats are alarming because the rise of vaping and smoking is not only illegal, but dangerous to teens. In a survey conducted at Bob Jones High School, 68.4% of students said that they know someone who Juuls or vapes underage. Furthermore, in the same survey, 68.4% of student said that they had heard of putting marijuana in an electronic cigarette.

One student commented, “Yes. It’s a drug, and drugs mess with your brain, in an education environment. It can still cause sickness. Also, if someone gets high and then goes to drive, they are putting so many people at risk.”

Teachers have to deal with the stresses of keeping students from these harmful products. Thomas Runnion, an assistant principal at Bob Jones said, “Because they [Juuls] now have the capability to be used to inhale drugs, we’re treating it the same as drug possession.” Officer Ewing, a Bob Jones SRO, spoke on the facts of what would happen if someone were to get caught with marijuana at school. “If they [school administration] find it [marijuana] you’ll be suspended for five days, pending a disciplinary hearing…and more than likely, if it’s marijuana, you get expelled.”

When the school has to get involved with a case such as vaping or possession of marijuana, it puts a strain on teachers and administration. It could also affect students grades. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Research has shown that marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks.” This website also goes on to say that students who smoked daily were more likely to perform worse in school.

Partnership for a Drugs-Free America provides a guide for teachers and parents to help them discuss vaping with students and children. You can download it HERE.