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E-Cigarettes Cloud Schools’ Anti-Smoking Policies

For decades schools have been on the front lines in a successful campaign to reduce teenage cigarette smoking. Now, some educators find themselves developing policies to control students’ use of e-cigarettes, devices which are still unregulated at the federal level that many fear could revive smoking among adolescents.

Otherwise known as “vape pens,” “cloud pens,” and by other names, e-cigarettes are undoubtedly catching the eye of teenagers, and of even younger children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that the percentage of students in grades 6-12 who had tried e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, growing from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent. About 160,000 of the 1.78 million students who had experimented with electronic cigarettes as of 2012 had never used conventional cigarettes.