BENNINGTON — The Bennington School District board on Wednesday unanimously adopted an updated tobacco policy that now includes a prohibition on electronic cigarettes.
The policy would forbid the use of tobacco or tobacco substitutes such as “electronic cigarettes, and any electronic or battery powered device that delivers nicotine or other substances into the body through inhaled vapor” by any person on school grounds. Students would also be prohibited from possessing or using tobacco substitutes like e-cigarettes on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions.
The current policy only prohibits the use of tobacco on school grounds and the possession or use of tobacco by students on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions. The updated policy would keep these prohibitions.
The BSD board is the first in the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union to adopt the revised policy. Each board in the union has to warn and adopt the revised policy for it to be sent back to the SVSU board for final adoption. All school boards in the SVSU warned the updated policy last fall.
E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol, or mix of small particles in the air. Most contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that can harm children’s brain development, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Students and employees violating the policy would be subject to disciplinary action; any others would be asked to leave school grounds if they refuse to comply.
The SVSU districts adopted its current tobacco policy in 2000.
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