CLINTON — With the city now needing to modify its local tobacco ordinance, police chief Ben Lowers said Monday vaping also would be including in the new city language. The state recently returned the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.
“We’re adding that to our tobacco ordinance to help combat a significantly growing issue of kids using vaping type devices, especially at school,” Lower said.
The vaping industry developed as an alternative to cigarette smoking, which causes lung cancer and contributes to several other diseases, such as heart disease. But the cartridges used in vaping still contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance.
“Nicotine is five to 10 times more potent than cocaine or morphine in producing behavioral and psychological effects associated with addiction,” according to a study by the UK’s Royal College of Physicians.
Lowers said the change in how the city treats youth vaping will include disciplinary action by the schools.
“This will also give us another avenue for enforcement, not only in the schools but outside the schools to try to get these nicotine and vaping tools out of the hands of young people as much as possible,” Lowers said.
He said the use of vaping was not only significant at the high school level but also at the junior high.
“As early as sixth grade,” Lowers said. “Numerous kids a week were disciplined for vaping type devices and using them in school,” he said in reference to last school year.
The cartridges are about the size of a flash drive and can be easily concealed.
Lowers felt they were a fad, but, “something we need to get a grip on.”
Lowers spoke during Monday’s city council meeting.
Illinois Public Health Department officials are now warning about a mystery illness affecting teenagers who vape. At least 22 cases have been reported in Illinois, although cases are being reported in several other states as well.
Continue reading about the latest health department warning below.
Click the link below to read about the mystery illness connected to vaping in Illinois: