This current 2013-2014 school year, a new rule concerning electronic-cigarettes was added to the Duxbury Public Schools Handbook. The new rule states, “no student may be in possession/use of a tobacco or nicotine (Electronic Cigarettes) product on school property or within 300 yards of school property”(p.33). This is not news to most students. By Massachusetts State Law Use of tobacco products is banned for all young adults under 18. However, E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco; therefore they can be purchased without proof of age. This raises concern that E-cigarettes are particularly appealing to young adults.
When asked about the rule most students remain neutral. Many students have not noticed a large amount of students using E-cigarettes on school grounds. Sophomore Nancy D. said, “I don’t see the point of the rule. I have never seen anyone use E-cigarettes [at school].” Nancy shares the opinion of the majority of Duxbury High school students.
Another DHS student, junior Eliza H. agreed with Nancy and said, “It [the new rule] has no effect, students don’t have enough money to buy E-cigarettes.” E-cigarettes can cost up to 70 dollars and one nicotine cartridge costs a dollar fifty. This can add up over time and become an expensive addiction.
E-cigarettes are also used as an alternative to the nicotine patch or gum. As a result, students assume that the E-cigarettes do not possess any harmful chemicals other than nicotine. Concrete evidence of this hasn’t been proven. DHS Principal Mr. Stevens said, “It’s not in the every corner of every bathroom or hallway.” Students have been known to skip class to use E-cigarettes.
However, some people believe E-cigarettes can be useful. Junior Baily C. said that she thought e-cigarettes were useful for people who were trying to quit smoking, but in class is not an appropriate time.