School Locks Up Bathrooms To Students Over Vaping Hysteria

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

Officials at a California high school are closing down bathrooms to students during class-time over hysteria about electronic cigarette use among teens.

Aaron Palm, the principle of Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, recently sent a letter to parents warning them about the use of vaping devices by teens using the alarmism of the tobacco control movement. The letter said students are using these devices to inhale nicotine at school, particularly in the bathrooms, and asks parents to support new restrictions on when students can use certain restrooms, reports KCRA.

The letter also encourages parents to talk to their kids about the alleged dangers of vaping, ignoring the prevailing scientific research on the devices. Public health experts say vaping largely eliminates the harms from conventional cigarettes because 95 percent of the carcinogens that cause tobacco-related illnesses are released through combustion. E-cigarettes simply heat liquid nicotine, creating an aerosol vapor.

To combat the practice of vaping, officials are closing down certain bathrooms in the school while students are in class and stationing people as monitors outside of restrooms. Only the cafeteria bathroom is available to students during class-time, while the others can only be used during breaks and lunch.

“Well, you have to go in and sign in your time and everything, and they only let two people in at a time, even though there’s, like, four stalls,” Dane Porter, a student critical of the school’s new bathroom policy, told KCRA. “It doesn’t really solve the problem. It just slows everything down.”

The bathroom policy is temporary until the use of vapor products declines, school officials said. Nationally, the novelty of vaping appears to be wearing off for teens despite the alarms that they are causing teens to get hooked on tobacco, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of teens using any tobacco product declined in 2016 from 4.7 million to 3.9 million and the number of middle school and high school students who use a vaping device dropped from 3 million to 2.2 million.

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