Teen suspended for e-cigarette - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Teen suspended for e-cigarette

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Some parents are concerned schools aren't doing enough to help students deal with addictions. 

One teen at Richmond Hill High School said e-cigarettes were the only things helping her quit smoking, but she was suspended for bringing one to school.

Most school campuses, including Richmond Hill High School, are tobacco free so the teen and her family weren't surprised when she was suspended, but what was surprising was the fact the school doesn't have any programs to help her with the addiction.

"If a student or teen would like to seek help for quitting their tobacco addiction, they can seek it in the community," said Carli Duplessis, whose student was suspended.  

This is what Duplessis said officials with the Bryan County Board of Education  told her after her teen was suspended for bringing her e-cigarette to school.

"It's crazy how addicted you become to something," said the student.  

This student said she's been addicted to smoking since before she was thirteen. She said she has tried anything and everything to quit, from nicotine gum to a patch. Nothing seemed to work except the e-cigarette.

"I am legitimately addicted to cigarettes and I wanted to quit," said the student.

E-cigarettes are the latest trend that supposedly will kick the nicotine cravings, but according to the American Lung Association, the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a safe and effective method to help smokers quit.

Even though e-cigarettes contain nicotine, right now there is not an age limit to buy or smoke them, unlike real cigarettes which requires you to be 18.

So what about students at school who are under-age and addicted?

"They just take it away and don't ask questions.  They really aren't concerned about if the kid needs it," said the student.  

WTOC reached out to the Bryan County School superintendent who said they have school counselors on site to help parents and students find the resources they need that will help them with their addiction.

"I've tried everything. Would a support group help me? I don't know," said the student.

She said she has actually started smoking again since her e-cigarette was taken away. E-cigarettes are so new; experts are warning folks who use them to stay away because they really just don't know enough about them.

If you have a teen with an addiction problem, here are some local resources.

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