2 public forums being held in Beaufort County to discuss e-cigarette use among students

Public forums being held in Beaufort County to discuss e-cigarette use among students

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - It’s a trend you may have seen around town - e-cigarettes, vapes, and JUULS - but they may also be found in your child’s classroom.

One Lowcountry group says the nicotine products are finding their way into the hands of students and they want parents to be aware of the dangers.

We’re not talking just high school students inhaling the nicotine products. The Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth says students in elementary school are getting caught with these products.

JUULS, vapes, and e-cigarettes are being used all across the United States, including here in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire. The age to purchase these products is 18 and older, but that doesn't mean those under the age of 18 aren't finding ways to get them.

A CDC report from last year found a 78-percent increase in high school students using e-cigarettes in one year. That brings the number of middle and high school users to almost 5 million.

Those with the Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth says those under the age of 18 can find ways to buy the products online or they may just ask an older coworker at their part-time job to buy one for them. That's why the group is asking business owners who employ young people to attend one of the upcoming forums they have planned this week so that they can help fix the problem. The group says these nicotine products can be dangerous, especially for students.

“These are popping up in elementary and middle schools. There are principals in our schools who are taking these items away from students as young as 10 and 11 years old,” said Joy Nelson, Marketing Manager, LCAHY.

The Beaufort County School District says there are consequences for students who bring these types of products to school, which includes suspension.

There will be two meetings discussing these concerns. The first one will be Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Hilton Head Christian Academy (55 Gardner Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926). A second forum will take place at 6 p.m. at May River High School (601 New Riverside Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910).

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