Local school officials, police say they support President Trump's flavored e-cig ban

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - President Trump's Administration proposed the ban of flavored e-cigarettes, also called vapes.

In Kentucky, some school officials said kids are getting their hands on vapes and have been caught on school grounds with them. At least six vaping devices were confiscated at Williamsburg City schools within the last two years.

"Anytime you find one, if I find one or 10 is an issue," said Michael Abbott, the Williamsburg Schools safety director. "Yes, we find them just like every school."

The fear is that those behind the marketing of vapes know middle school kids would want to try them.

"They are advertised to students. They have flavors. Not like a cigarette and tobacco and 'that smells terrible. Who would want to do that?'" said Abbott.

Local police said they are all for the flavor ban because kids do not realize the dangers.

"None of this stuff is FDA approved. You are ingesting this stuff into your lungs and your body," said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.

Another problem is how the vapes are marketed and what may be in them. Some are laced with THC, the chemical found in marijuana. Others are marketed to look like candy.

"Vaping has evolved into being very enticing to middle school-age kids," said Bird. "Because of the design on the packaging and the flavor, it's become very popular. All kinds of flavors - cherry, orange, all kinds of the stuff. Part of it, who has the coolest device. Who has the coolest vaping device? Some are pretty expensive and elaborate."

The manager of one vaping store in Whitley County said she believes the problem is the vape black market. She believes some kids are getting their hands on illegal vapes. Her store does not sell to minors.

"We know we have a couple of places in Whitley County that have sold to minors in the past," said Bird.

School officials said they always confiscate the vapes, which are tested for possible THC components, and parents are called.

The Williamsburg City Council plans to have the second reading of a new ordinance next week that will include vaping into its current smoking ban.

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