The Peddie News

The Rising Concern of Electronic Cigarettes at Peddie

Sophie Furigay '18, Section editor

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Electronic cigarette and vaporizer use among teens has become a concern across the United States, and within the Peddie community.

Electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or e-cigs are small, generally battery powered devices that create vapors, via the e-liquid or oil by means of a heating element. Most of the time, the refillable cartridge contains nicotine, but marijuana oil can be used in devices as well. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco leaves that stimulates the brain and is highly addictive. According to the American Lung Association, addiction and use can be found in teens across America, and the health issues include hindered brain development, various types of cancer, heart and lung diseases, and damage of unborn babies.

The Peddie Handbook states that “we expect students not to smoke, use or possess tobacco products at any time on campus or in the Borough of Hightstown or while under the school’s jurisdiction.” This is a major school rule, however there is a three strike policy, and a strike can be removed after 365 days and completion of a smoking cessation program, according to the handbook. Because e-cigarettes can be an agent for marijuana, if a student is found vaping or in the company of someone who is vaping, he or she is taken to the Health Center for drug testing. If the drug test comes back positive, the student faces dismissal. If the test comes back negative, the student is put on probation.

Many students and teachers are aware of the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among some Peddie students.  Dorm meetings regarding e-cigarettes and vaping devices have been held to encourage students to not use e-cigarettes.

“We have actually had fire trucks on campus because of a vaping device that set off an alarm in a dorm room,” Dean of Students Peter McClellan said.

If another student is aware of a peer using e-cigarettes or vaping devices and feels discomfort, he or she is encouraged to go to the offending student. The student is also encouraged to go to an adult, explained McClellan.

While students may be concerned for their peer’s enrollment in the school, many are told by other students and prefects not to report e-cigarette use to an adult. In a student only, dorm-wide meeting in the Coleman dormitory, a dorm for upperclassmen girls and post graduates, prefects advised students to not report the issue and their concerns to adults, but instead to prefects and/or to confront the offending students themselves.
“While I think dorms care about their fellow peer’s health, I think they care more about the peer staying at Peddie,” Prefect Emmy Wang ’17 said. She went on to say that it is very unlikely that a boarding school, like Peddie, will be rid of these devices, but in the future she hopes the school, dorm supervisors, and prefects will do their best to prevent students from using these harmful and addictive devices.

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The Rising Concern of Electronic Cigarettes at Peddie