The year was 2015 when I first smoked a vape pen. I remember thinking the device resembled what Dr. Who’s sonic screwdriver would look like if it came out of the closet. Regardless, everyone seemed to enjoy it. Store owners said it was an alternative to smoking real cigarettes because you could take it anywhere.
At that moment, I thought to myself “the days of cool smoking are dead for sure. It’s only a matter of time before something like this will be banned.”
Sure enough, Governor Kevin Stitt came to bat.
Vaping in Oklahoma schools will soon be illegal.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation Tuesday aimed at preventing teenagers from vaping.
Stitt signed Senate Bill 33, which prevents people from vaping in schools and on school campuses. The measure also prevents people from vaping in their cars on school property and vaping at school-sponsored events.
The bill amends the 2015 Tobacco-Free Schools Act, which required schools to be completely tobacco-free, even after school hours.
But how else will square adults be able to identify the cool kids from the squares? I’m kidding – there is nothing worse than smelling the foggy mist of exhaled smoke that sort of smells like stale Fruit Loops.
At the time of writing this article, I can think of at least 20 people who smoke from vape pens. All joking aside, I’d much rather them smoke this than a few cigarettes. At least after 10 minutes of smoking, they don’t smell like they french kissed an ashtray. I say this as someone who frequently smokes after a few beers at a pub.
State Sen. J.J. Dossett, the bill’s sponsor, said vaping is an epidemic in every school across the state, and school employees were calling for something to be done.
“It is an alarming rate right now that young people are using these devices. It is the new preferred nicotine delivery system,” said Dossett, D-Owasso.
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than they are to use cigarettes, but teens who vape are 30% more likely to eventually turn to cigarettes.
In December, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared e-cigarette usage among young people an epidemic.
I’m not sure if epidemic is the right word. The term “epidemic” would better be suited for something which is seriously killing people like opioids or assault weapons in the hands of mentally unstable people. Calling vaping an epidemic is sort of like labeling electric scooters as mobile death machines.
Regardless, I understand banning them from school property much like administrators banned other forms of tobacco in the past. But if Gov. Stitt thinks he’s solved the problem – news flash, many people chewed tobacco in class and sneaked into the bathroom to light up cigarettes during lecture.
Despite my cynicism, I will still give Stitt kudos for trying to stop something which could affect children’s health.