State Board of Education passes rule allowing schools to confiscate students’ e-cigarettes

Vaping. File photo: Pixabay/Krystian-Graba

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 8, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah State Board of Education has approved new administrative rules designed to help schools deal more effectively with e-cigarettes on campuses.

The new USBE rules will allow schools to “confiscate electronic or e-cigarette devices found in student possession on campus, and to require schools to update policies on searching students for controlled substances to include e-cigarette devices,” says a summary of the board’s Thursday meeting.

As of Oct. 24, the number of deaths directly linked to vaping in the United States was updated to 37 by the Centers for Disease Control.

One Utah death of a person under the age of 30 has been confirmed. The Utah Health Department has reported at least 83 lung injury cases related to vaping.

At the meeting, the USBE also discussed potential legislation with Rep. Susan Pulsipher which would “add an e-cigarette component to substance abuse prevention programs and potentially provide stipends to schools that create positive behavior plans for students.”

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The summary says school officials had asked for rule clarification on vaping products, “since they do not have the resources to determine what substance is being used in the device: something legal, nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or other illegal substance.”

“The new rule allows schools to turn confiscated devices over to law enforcement should they suspect an illegal substance is being used,” the statement says. “Utah does have a medical marijuana law, however, neither cigarette nor e-cigarette products are allowable medical marijuana delivery devices.”

The earliest the two new rules could go into effect is Jan. 8 of next year.

The Center for Disease Control released this image depicting lung injury that can be caused by vaping.

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