JUUL’s nicotine e-cigarettes were a major consideration at the Tuesday, April 12 meeting of the Greenbrier County School Board.
Board Vice Chair Mary Humphreys moved to approve a resolution declaring JUUL’s e-cigarettes a “public nuisance” to students and schools. The Board of Directors unanimously approved it after receiving information in the executive session.
“We are very, very concerned in Greenbrier County about what is happening with the vaping situation with our students,” council chairwoman Jeanie Wyatt said. “We reach many, many counties in the state of West Virginia. Hopefully all 55 counties will support this. I do not know if [the public] realizes what we have faced in the situation in our schools and have been disrupted. It’s very scary. I hope we can get help for this, educate our students and fight this epidemic that is plaguing our schools.
As the Centers for Disease Control explain, “e-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol, or mixture of small particles in the air. … The use of electronic cigarettes is dangerous for children, teenagers and young adults. Most electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm teenage brain development, which continues into the early to mid-twenties. Electronic cigarettes may contain other harmful substances in addition to nicotine.
JUUL is a major maker of e-cigarettes and has recently come under scrutiny for its marketing practices.
“The Greenbrier County School Board has received information indicating that JUUL violated federal laws and regulations by engaging in deceptive practices in the design and promotion of products intended for teens and teens,” reads the statement. resolution. “Based on information and belief, JUUL has engaged in deceptive practices in the design and promotion of its products to be appealing to children. Everything related to product design, from its size and appearance, the unique chemical formulation of nicotine and flavor, and aggressive social media promotion, was aimed at teens and teens.The ride of JUUL exposed a new generation of children to levels record nicotine addiction Local communities are being impacted and incurring a myriad of costs in order to combat and prevent the youth vaping epidemic The Greenbrier County School Board is now faced with the challenge of how to remedy the situation.
This statement recognizes the school board’s costs in creating prevention programs for local students. This is to combat the current demand for these products, allegedly fueled by the commercialization of the company itself created.
“The Greenbrier County School Board has spent, is spending and will in the future spend county public funds to respond to the serious public health and safety crisis involving nicotine abuse addiction and morbidity in the county. of Greenbrier,” reads the resolution.
According to the resolution, vaping use increased significantly in several ways between 2017 and 2019:
– E-cigarette use by high school students doubled from 11.7% to 27.5%.
– There are 5.2 million children who used electronic cigarettes in 2019, an increase of more than three million in just two years.
– Nearly one in three, 35.7%, of West Virginia high school students report currently using electronic vaping products, an increase of 150%.
– More than 60% of West Virginia high school students, 62.4%, said they had tried steam electronics, compared to 44.4%.
– Many students noting frequent use of vaping products, more than 20 days per month, increased from 3.1% to 16.7%.
Wyatt also noted “so many of our students buy them locally and they’re underage. Every time we have [a vape pen] involved in a deportation hearing, we ask the child where he got it. It’s a very sad thing, and our police are doing their best to try to stop it, but it looks more like candy to these students than something they think will hurt them.
The statement also follows the Greenbrier County Commission’s lawsuit against vaping maker JUUL. In November 2021, attorney Rusty Webb of the Webb Law Center in Charleston approached the Greenbrier County Commission with a request for disclosure and for the county to join a lawsuit against the manufacturers of nicotine vape pens. .
“You’re all part of the opioid case — I know that because I represent all 45 counties and cities in West Virginia and meet regularly with your attorneys,” Webb said. “This JUUL lawsuit takes the exact same theory that we use opioid cases, public nuisance, and applies it to the [second] epidemic that is now vaping in West Virginia, primarily among teens and young adults. What we’re going to do is apply the same law that we apply in the opioid cases to sue JUUL, which has been done across the country, mostly by school boards.
For more on the county’s lawsuit, see “JUUL’s Nicotine E-Cigarettes Declared a Public Nuisance in Greenbrier” at wvdn.com/23054/.
In other cases:
– An audit report has been approved by the board. Chief School Affairs Officer David McClure noted that the results show no incidents of non-compliance and that the school system was a “low-risk audited entity”.
–Right of way for the new turn lane in front of Lewisburg Elementary School has been granted to the West Virginia Division of Highways.
– A new social studies textbook has been approved for primary school students.
– New policies will be available for comment for 30 days on greenbriercountyschools.org.