CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thursday, parents of Charlotte Catholic High School received an emailed letter from the principal regarding a recent increase in vaping among students.
The letter was aimed to bring attention to the issue of vaping and its harmful effects, but also to remind parents of the school’s vaping policy, according to principal Kurt Telford.
The new vaping policy, which was added to the school’s discipline policy this school year says:
“At this time, vaping in class will result in immediate withdrawal from CCHS. The first time a student is caught vaping anywhere else on campus, the student will be suspended from CCHS and enrolled in drug testing. The second time a student is caught vaping in restrooms or anywhere else on campus, the student may be forced to withdraw from CCHS.”
“We feel strongly because it’s unhealthy and we want to deter the behavior,” said principal Telford.
Telford said already this school year, nearly a handful of students have already been withdrawn from the school due to vaping. In addition to vaping on school property, principal Telford said he is genuinely concerned for the well being of his students.
Beyond alerting parents to the school’s disciplinary measures, principal Telford hoped the letter would encourage parents to speak to their kids about the health effects of vaping, saying:
“Ear, eye, and throat irritation are common among users, and that is just the beginning. Vaping creates aerosols containing harmful chemicals and ultra-fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs unfiltered and leave a chemical residue behind. The liquid used in vaping often contains nicotine, along with other harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, lead, nickel, and diacetyl. Secondhand exposure to the vapor can cause harm as well. Vaping is relatively new; therefore, many of the long-term health consequences are unknown. Vape pens also can be vehicles for illegal drug use.”
“I would like parents to talk to their kids about the harmful effects of vaping and hopefully kids won’t use the vape devices, here or off-campus,” he says.
Charlotte Catholic is the second school this week to send home letters to parents regarding vaping. Earlier this week, the principal at East Lincoln High School in Denver, N.C. sent home a similar note, after she says the school already confiscated 65 e-cigarette devices this school year.
According to the North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey, the use of e-cigarettes by North Carolina high school students increased 888 percent from 2011 to 2015. Results of the most recent survey have yet to be released.
North Carolina law prohibits teens younger than 18 from purchasing any e-cigarette device, but teens we spoke with say, although illegal, like many things, it’s easy to get.