Pubdate: Tue, 23 May 2017
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 North Bay Nugget
Author: Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles
Page: A1


Students vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin, says principal

High school students are vaping marijuana juice and crushed Oxycontin
before and during school.

The startling news came in March when Almaguin Highlands Secondary
School principal Donna Breault made a presentation to the Near North
District School Board about vaping and its dangers.

Board chairman David Thompson says parents need to be aware of what
their kids are doing.

"I think parents would be shocked," Thompson says. "Students are
vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin and sharing filters, which
is putting them at risk of some serious health concerns like hepatitis."

Thompson says he often hears from parents that they're happy their
children are vaping because that means they're not smoking.

"But I would ask them if they know what they're vaping and where
they're doing it?"

It's become a concern for school boards across the

Student trustee Ty Meighan confirms that vaping is present in schools
and that many students are not aware or concerned about the risks.

The Near North board has taken a bold step to try to gain control of
the situation.

The city's largest school board has banned vaping from school
properties and updated its administrative guidelines toward a
tobacco-free environment.

According to minutes from the March board meeting, administration is
becoming increasingly concerned as more students are vaping.

"E-cigarettes and va ping paraphernalia are marketed as though they
are not dangerous to our health and they are easy for minors to
purchase. It's an unregulated industry with no legislation behind it
in Canada, which is why raising the awareness about he dangers of
vaping and e-cigarettes is so important.

"School administrators have no way of detecting the contents of an
e-cigarette because the smell is odourless. Of further concern are the
batteries that can malfunction and explode. Administrators are now
approaching vaping in the same way they approach cigarette smoking."

Trustee Michelina Beam is scheduled to bring the issue forward to the
Ontario Public School Boards' Association and Thompson is drafting a
letter to the education minister, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony
Rota, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and the North Bay Parry Sound District
Health Unit.

Unlike tobacco, there's no legislation when it comes to vaping, says
Marlene Campsall, program manager of Healthy Schools for the North Bay
Parry Sound District Health Unit.

Campsall says tobacco enforcement officers only enforce tobacco
legislation, and it's up to each school board to update its policies
and enforce anything that hasn't become law, such as vaping.

According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey from
2014-15, one out of 10 grades 7 to 12 students has used chew,
e-cigarettes, vaping or water pipes.

"It's certainly on the rise," Campsall says. "We know the challenges.
Students can put anything in there to vape."
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MAP posted-by: Matt