Calcasieu Parish School Board bans electronic cigarettes

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Electronic cigarettes are a new alternative to smoking with no federal regulations.

District officials said when Calcasieu students started bringing electronic cigarettes to school, school administrators did not know how to address it.

But now district officials said that won't be an issue.

The policy said no tobacco in schools, but now the policy includes electronic cigarettes.

"At first we just thought it was a high school situation, then we found a few in middle schools, and then we actually had an incident with an elementary student bringing it on campus," said Coordinator of Positive Behavior Support for Calcasieu Parish School Board, Sabra Soileau.

District officials said with little studies done on electronic cigarettes, they're not willing to take any chances when it comes to their students.

"As we did some research and got phone calls we realized that it doesn't contain tobacco, but it contains nicotine," said Soileau.

Ken Levingston is the co-owner of Lake Charles Vapor. He said as a regular smoker, electronic cigarettes changed his life.

"I was an addicted smoker and when I found the products and used them for a couple weeks, it kind of hit me that I'm not smoking a cigarette," said Levingston. "I never thought I could stop smoking cigarettes."

Livingston said he has multiple people a day come in his shop and say they no longer smoke cigarettes thanks to electronic cigarettes.

Livingston also said there's a misconception when it comes to the product.

"It's not a lot of people's fault, it's just that there's a lot of misinformation being put out there," said Livingston. "It looks like smoke so it must be smoke, but it's just water vapor."

But misconception or not, district officials said it's all about prevention.

Currently, no laws limit minors from buying the product.

Livingston said electronic cigarettes should be allowed in public places, but he does agree with the school board. He also said he chooses to not sell to minors.

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