Principals with the local school district have been instructed to confiscate vaping products they see on campus as part of a crack down to stop students from inhaling the potentially dangerous substance on school property.
Kevin Kaardal, superintendent for the Central Okanagan School District, sent home a letter to parents and guardians on Friday outlining the dangers and the rules of vaping on school property.
“School staff will continue to enforce a no-vaping zone on school property,” wrote Kaardal in the letter.
“School principals have been instructed to confiscate any vapour products they see on campus. If staff see vaping products on school property, they may confiscate them and turn them over to the RCMP.”
The letter was sent home following a decision by the board last week to write letters to politicians asking them how they intend address vaping, which has exploded in popularity in recent years.
The letter sent to parents over the weekend also outlined the environment and health risks associated with vaping.
“Even small amounts of the “e-juice” can be poisonous to a young child if ingested and can be toxic if spilled on the skin,” Kaardal wrote.
“The vapour devices contain a heat source and these have malfunctioned causing a mini explosion or starting a fire in purses or backpacks.”
Under provincial law vaping products are the same as cigarettes and it is against the law to sell or provide vaping products to someone under the age of 19.
Given that it’s against the law, Kaardal asked parents to talk with their children about the illegal and dangerous activity.
“What would a reasonable parent do when they witness a student participating in an illegal activity?” Kaardal asked.
“I encourage you to speak with your child or youth to ensure they understand the serious health risks associated with this activity.”
According to the University of Waterloo study, vaping has increased by 74 per cent over the last two year for youth between the ages of 16-19.