E-cigarette usage on the rise in schools

Photo of a JUUL device courtesy of Creative Commons

Electronic cigarettes, specifically JUUL, have changed the game when it comes to, “smokin’ in the boys’ room.”

JUUL, an e-cigarette shaped like an easily-concealable USB flash drive, has made its way into our schools without many parents knowing it exists.

One JUUL cartridge contains roughly the same amount of nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes. This is a huge problem as many teens aren’t even aware that JUUL contains any nicotine at all. This ignorance has led to it becoming a status symbol and a growing health problem at the same time.

Because it’s small and fits in the palm of your hand, JUUL makes it easier to smoke where you’re not supposed to, like in our own schools. Like other electronic cigarettes, JUUL heats up a cartridge of fluid to create a vapor. The smell quickly dissolves with the vapor when blown into the air, or into a backpack.

Because of this, our staff continue to closely monitor bathrooms and hallways, especially in our middle and high schools.

Our School Board Policy 3239 prohibits the use or possession of all tobacco products, nicotine, and nicotine delivery devices by students on Bethel School District property and at all Bethel School District activities. Policy 4215 prohibits the use by district employees, students, volunteers, outside contractors, visitors and the general public on all district properties as well as district vehicles.

Since tobacco use by a minor is a crime, students may face the assessment of a fine by law enforcement for such violations. Additionally, the following disciplinary penalties will be implemented when a student violates the policy prohibiting the use or possession of tobacco substances.


Whenever there is a tobacco violation by an elementary grade student the student’s parent will be notified. Additional sanctions, in-school suspensions, or suspensions up to ten days, will be imposed as the school administrator feels are warranted.

Middle School and High School

Whenever there is a tobacco violation by a middle school student the student’s parent will be notified. Additional sanctions will be imposed as follows:

1st Offense — In-school suspension or short-term suspension 1–5 days.

2nd Offense — Short-term suspension 1–10 days

3rd Offense — Long-term suspension 11–20 days

Subsequent violation — Suspension 11–90 days or expulsion

When a sanction of any kind has been imposed, at any grade level, it may be deferred or reduced by the building administrator if the student agrees to a substance use assessment or enrolls in a smoking cessation program or tobacco information school when an appropriate program is available.


Staff violations of the tobacco policy may result in discipline following a progressive discipline plan. This plan will include warning, suspension and possible termination of employment. Severity and frequency of violation(s) will determine the appropriate discipline.

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Read more:

Nearly 1 in 5 youth say they have seen juul used in school

Schools and Parents Fight a Juul E-Cigarette Epidemic

Juul, the vape device teens are getting hooked on, explained

Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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