Janesville School Board to tackle tobacco restrictions

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Nick Crow
Sunday, May 11, 2014

JANESVILLE — The Janesville School District would add electronic cigarettes to its list of banned tobacco products if the school board decides to pass the measure Tuesday night.

E-cigarettes, a method of smoking in which nicotine is inhaled through water vapor, would be banned in all district buildings, grounds and vehicles.

Yolanda Cargile, director of student services for the district, said in a memo to Superintendent Karen Schulte that the proposed revised policy will address any form of tobacco, electronic or other substitute forms of cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are plastic or metal tubes, slightly larger in size than cigarettes, that heat a liquid nicotine solution instead of burning tobacco. The heat creates a vapor that is then inhaled.

The Beloit School District unanimously passed similar rules for its schools in April and other area schools have also considered similar legislation.

The Food and Drug Administration has begun looking into regulating for the sale and manufacture of e-cigarettes.

Health officials have warned that the vapors can contain heavy metals and other toxins that include nicotine, flavoring, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.

Advocates of e-cigarettes say they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes and wean smokers off cigarettes.

Wisconsin passed smoke-free legislation in 2009, but the measure has no mention of e-cigarettes.

The district's new policy would define tobacco use as to "chew or maintain any substance containing tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, in the mouth to derive the effects of tobacco, as well as all uses of tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, any other matter or substance that contains tobacco, in addition to papers used to roll cigarettes and/or the smoking of electronic, "vapor," or other substitute forms of cigarettes, clove cigarettes and any other lighted smoking devices for burning tobacco or any other substance."

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