School board clarifies e-cigarette prohibition
The Durham school board has revised its policy prohibiting smoking to match up with new state laws regarding the use of tobacco products on school property.
But the board also took the revision a step further to clarify that use of the popular electronic cigarettes is also prohibited on campuses in Durham.
While the revised policy defining tobacco products to include “cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff and any other items containing or reasonably resembling tobacco or tobacco products” appeared to cover electronic cigarettes, the board agreed that the prohibition of electronic cigarettes should be more clearly spelled out.
“I’d still like to entertain some idea about spelling out e-cigarettes in a more explicit way,” said board member Natalie Beyer.
After reading more about electronic cigarettes and learning that they are fruit-flavored, target children and growing in popularity among students, Beyer said the board should specify in its policy that they are banned from school property.
“I think it would help our people who have to enforce this policy … to have this spelled out for them,” Beyer said.
The board adopted the revised policy, including a provision explicitly banning electronic cigarettes in a 6-0 vote. School board member Fredrick Davis was excused from Thursday’s meeting.
The revisions adopted by the board brought the school district’s policy in line with recent changes in state law.
“This broadens the scope of location to be any school-sponsored event, including school property or buses,” said Debbie Pitman, assistant superintendent of student, family and community services.
The revised policy, for example, prohibits the use of tobacco at any school-sponsored event, regardless of location, when students or school personnel are present.
The policy does allow the use of tobacco products in instructional or research activities in public school buildings as long as it’s conducted or supervised by the faculty member overseeing the research and the tobacco product is not ingested.