St. John's school bans electronic cigarettes, students still vaping

Waterford Valley High in St. John's says it has zero tolerance for electronic cigarettes, but some students say the new smokes are popular, on and off school grounds.

Local store also takes stand

Waterford Valley High says students who vape on school grounds will be suspended. (CBC)

Waterford Valley High in St. John's says it has zero tolerance for electronic cigarettes, but some students say the new smokes are popular on and off school grounds.

"The [vice] principal ... made an announcement that he doesn't want any vaping in school or around school, or you'll get suspended right away," said student Travis Hynes. 

"He's worried about students with allergies and these vapours have lots of scents to them."

Students Travis Hynes and Vanessa Lewis say the vapour cigarettes come in different flavours and taste better than tobacco. (CBC)

Hynes and friend Vanessa Lewis were both smoking the e-cigarettes as they left school for a lunch break Thursday, and they say a lot of students are interested in them.

"Most people feel that it's pretty cool. If me or any of my friends have them around, they're like can I see it ... even if they don't want it themselves," said Lewis who estimated about a dozen students smoke the vapour cigarettes, compared to at least 40 who smoke tobacco.

Hynes said the e-cigarettes taste better. "You don't get that gross taste in your mouth afterwards. And you don't get so congested after you vape. It is a better alternative."

Store takes stand

There's no law to prevent minors from buying the vapour cigarettes, but a store near Waterford Valley High has its own policy.

Avalon Vapor says its customers use electronic cigarettes while they're trying to give up tobacco, but it won't sell to anyone under 19.

Avalon Vapor decided not to sell to customers under 19.  

"A lot of people are speculating that the vaping industry is trying to attract children and we're definitely not," said owner Tristan Wall.

"We're trying to attract smokers and get them away from tobacco because it's ultimately harming them and we want to offer them something safer. "

Wall says he doesn't think the vapour cigarettes should be allowed in schools or most public places.

"It should be treated like a cigarette. I wouldn't expect people to be walking in the Avalon Mall using the electronic cigarette or at a hockey game at Mile One."


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