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North Vancouver: Did you smoke? Vaping in the boys’ room not lit, a problem

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Vaping is popular with teens, but health officials warn it will lead to cigarette smoking in some

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A Deep Cove high school recently forced to lock its toilets to prevent children from vaping is just the latest out of a lasting battle to keep e-cigarettes and vapers out of the reach of underage users.

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Last week, administrators at Seycove High School announced that they would keep all student bathrooms – except those near the gymnasium and office – locked until further notice. As Deneka Michaud, communications manager at the North Vancouver School District, explained, some teens complained about not feeling safe going to the bathroom given the use of vaping, which occurred throughout. the day.

“In Seycove, what they’ve noticed is that the most popular time to do it is during class. Students text each other in class or they arrange it ahead of time – and they go vape, ”she said.

The most popular places are the washrooms, but students also vaped in the locker rooms and on nearby trails, Michaud said. There have even been instances of students vaping in class.

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“It’s not like smoking where you can smell it and see it. They are now very small devices. They’re about the size of a lighter and they don’t smell and students don’t smell anything, so it’s hard to spot them, ”she said.

Michaud said that by limiting access to less popular toilets, they could monitor usage and determine who the culprits are.

Teens who vape in school tend not to be cigarette smokers who use the products as quitting tools, Michaud said. On the contrary, they vape because they think it’s cool.

Although vapers are primarily used to inhale nicotine and produce smoke, they are different from cigarettes in many ways. They’re technical and stylish in a youthful fashion, and they’re used to consuming e-juice branded products such as Dr. Fog’s Watermelon Raspberry, Sour Worms by Candy King, and Killer Kustard by Vapetasia.

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Online videos abound to teach new users how to breathe in without a cough, stay calm when shopping for their first products, and blow out vape tips. Vapers also tend to have a pleasant odor that does not stick to hair, skin, and clothing like cigarette smoke.

Vape use erupted in Seycove around the beginning of October, but teachers, policymakers and members of the medical community have been concerned about use by children and teens for several years. Vape is legal in Canada, but not for people under the age of 19. It is also illegal to give or sell a vape to a minor.

Milan Khara, a doctor who works at the Vancouver General Hospital Smoking Cessation Clinic and spends some of his time lecturing to high school students, said there is no doubt that the use of vape is prevalent in school toilets.

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He said the medical community is increasingly accepting, even in the absence of decades-long studies, that vapor is likely safer than cigarette smoke. For this reason, existing smokers have been encouraged to use vaporizers instead. But it raised concerns.

“We have done a very good job of denormalizing smoking… Are we creating new interest in this product, and also, has this product sort of become a Trojan horse for the tobacco industry? ? “

An example of vaping products confiscated from students at Seycove High School in the North Vancouver School District.  (Photo: courtesy School District 44)
An example of vaping products confiscated from students at Seycove High School in the North Vancouver School District. (Photo: courtesy School District 44) Courtesy photo, School District 44

Khara explained that there are three possible outcomes for children and teens who start vaping. Some will quit soon after graduating from high school. Others will remain long-term e-cigarette users because they are addicted to nicotine and when they stop using the products they don’t feel well. And still others will graduate to become full-fledged cigarette smokers.

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“Once you start delivering an addicting chemical to your brain, what often happens is that you are looking to get the most efficient delivery of that addicting chemical to your brain. And we know that there is no more efficient delivery of nicotine to the brain than through a traditional cigarette. It does this faster and at higher levels than any other delivery system would be able to achieve.

Khara suggested that providing information to teens about vaping might be a better idea than locking bathrooms. He suggested parents talk to their kids if they think they’ve vaped.

Postmedia contacted several other Lower Mainland school districts and none said their schools had also restricted toilet use to curb vaping. A student at Vancouver Technical High School said the school sometimes closed some of its bathrooms to curb vaping, but the school district would not confirm.

Are you a student or parent of Seycove Secondary and would like to comment on this issue? Email us at [email protected]

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