Prince Rupert school board bans e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes have joined tobacco products on the list of forbidden items in the Prince Rupert School District.

The use of electronic cigarettes is now banned on school property throughout the district.

Electronic cigarettes have joined tobacco products on the list of forbidden items in the Prince Rupert School District.

While the use of e-cigarettes wasn’t technically permitted at any point in time, School District 52 (SD52) didn’t have any policies or regulations in place on nicotine-delivering vapour products until recently.

Superintendent Sandra Jones said the decision was made as a precautionary measure.

“It certainly has been an issue in other school districts, so we are trying to keep ahead,” Jones said.

“We haven’t had any complaints about them (in Prince Rupert).”

Shortly after SD52’s decision, Northern Health issued letters to superintendents across the north encouraging a prohibition of electronic cigarettes and other inhalible vapour products on school property.

“We are really working to express our concerns about the safety of these products, and the impacts they have on children and youth starting to use tobacco products as a consequence of using the electronic cigarettes,” Kelsey Yarmish, region manager of Northern Health’s population health program, said.

There isn’t enough evidence to determine whether e-cigarettes are any less harmful than tobacco products such as cigarettes or cigarillos, according to Yarmish.

“We don’t know enough about them to make a statement one way or another about their safety,” she said.