Spaulding officials not blowing smoke on vaping; expect suspension, court date

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Many kids were surprised to learn many electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive drug. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - The dangers of vaping and electronic cigarettes were brought to Spaulding students front and center on last week with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Laurie Warmock providing a series of educational sessions to students, staff and parents

Warmock explained the social and physical dynamic that is present in the use and attraction of electronic cigarettes to some youth.

"Vaping is a social activity with an addictive chemical element. After the fad passes, the addiction will remain," Warnock said.

Many students were surprised to know that one of the most popular electronic cigarettes, JUUL, does not make a 0 nicotine device.

Deputy Principal Pamela Martin and Justin Roy discussed Spaulding High School's new policy, which is if a student is caught with any piece of an electronic cigarette they will receive a three-day suspension and a referral to the Rochester Police Department.

The school's resource officer explained that student will be given a summons with a court date. Students have access to the school's licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Nicole Dale, for support in quitting. If they do they are able to complete a packet and earn one of the days back. The student will be required to attend the court date and pay a fine. The second offense will be five days out of school suspension and the third offense is ten days and a referral to the disciplinary committee. Parents were shown a display of all the items confiscated this year. Many were surprised with the number of items confiscated in such a short time.

Martin explained when they are dealing with electronic cigarette related offenses it is taking the administration away from other important tasks within the building. Warmock shared data with students, staff and parents. Electronic cigarette use in school is not a problem unique to Rochester, in fact Warmock shared she will be visiting 25 more schools before Christmas.

Dale aid there were a lot of misinformation out there that is confusing to young students.

"The opinion on vaping and juuling ranges anywhere from adults thinking it is no big deal to 0 understanding of the issue. It is our goal to reach students with a united message that this trend is dangerous for the developing brain and certainly not OK to bring to school," she said.

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