Electronic Cigarettes Found in Schools Amid Rising Trend

Electronic Cigarettes Found in Schools Amid Rising Trend
Electronic cigarettes disguised as makeup, perfume, and gum causing concern in Texas schools. Students caught may face legal consequences.

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - Electronic cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes, and while they may appear harmless, they are not.

According to a local school district, these devices are even appearing on school campuses disguised as lipstick, perfume, and even chewing gum sticks. The UISD police department says this is a growing trend and they consider it a pressing issue.

Just this year, regional police have reported 296 cases of students being caught with e-cigarettes; some devices even contained tetrahydrocannabinol or nicotine.

Sylvia Abrego, a spokesperson for UISD law enforcement, reported that these devices were found in all grades from elementary to high school.

In primary schools, there are some examples where students tell us that they learned from their older brothers or siblings or cousins," Abrego stated.

The UISD police have stated that electronic cigarettes sometimes contain synthetic marijuana due to the presence of large amounts of chemicals.

The school district even reported cases of drug overdoses in their schools, wherein emergency services had to assist a student. However, health consequences are not the only issues that e-cigarette users may face.

They are prosecuting juveniles through the county prosecutor, starting from the age of 10. From the age of 17, they will face prosecution from the regional prosecutor. They will be charged with a third degree felony because this is a drug-free zone," said Abrego in translated journalistic English.

Officer Abrego also warned that the students could face administrative penalties and may be reassigned to another school.

The UISD Police Department emphasizes the importance of making correct decisions for students.

Unfortunately, they were teenagers and their brains were not fully developed at the time, so they believed it was a game. However, as they grow older, they will realize that being charged with this serious crime will have a significant impact on their future careers," said Armando Rodriguez, an investigator with UISD police.

The police department stated that they can assist in solving the problem, but they also require the support of parents.

We can only do so much in school, but at home our parents are our eyes. Checking their backpacks, checking their rooms, and doing our best to help so we can lower the statistics," said Abrego.

According to the UISD authorities, parents can call the school counselor or local police to learn more about identifying these e-cigarettes.


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