High schoolers caught vaping in Chicago area highs schools risk paying a $500 fine. The decision was made by Main South and Main East High Schools in an attempt to limit the use of e-cigarettes amongst young people. As of now, the new regulations seem to be working.
Kevin Ryan, a Park Ridge police officer who works at Main East, welcomes the positive impact of the new measures. According to him, the increase in fines will help adolescents more easily recognize the negative consequences of vaping. The officer has already handed out a dozen citations, the same amount of citations given at Main South High School.
Speaking with students and enforcing regulations to deter vaping isn’t new. But the fine jumped from $100 to $500 last July. First-time offenders can reduce the fine to $125 if they take a three-hour course to “understand the health impact of e-cigarettes”.
Prioritizing e-cig education over repression
According to Terri Collins, executive director of the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation, parents should be much more vigilant than before. “Unlike conventional cigarettes”, she say, “vaping doesn’t leave any odour on clothing”. What’s more, vaping devices are discrete and can be easily hidden in a pocket or a bag. Seven teenagers and their parents have already participated in the three-hour e-cigarette education class.
Collins emphasizes the possible dangers that vaping can have on the brain without citing any scientific evidence. Another possible danger, according to Terri Collins, is that young people can use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana.
Under Illinois state law, it is illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to purchase e-cigarette products. The fine increase from $100 to $500 has seemed to noticeably reduce the amount of vaping in area high schools. Even if students can get around the law by purchasing e-cigarettes on the Internet.