With the start of the new 2019-2020 school year, Oologah-Talala Public School district will begin implementing an updated tobacco use and e-cigarette vaping policy.

This school-wide policy is being driven by the increasing use of e-cigarette and vaping products on campus by students and the need for stronger consequences.

This school year, administrators will be able to write a citation to any student caught on campus using a tobacco product or e-cigarette/vaping device such as a JUUL.

The citation will be submitted to the Oklahoma ABLE Commission who, under Oklahoma State Statute 10.A - Children and Juvenile Code, will administer a fine of $100 for the first offense and $200 for a second offense with the possibility of points being added to the minor’s driving record if there is non- compliance with the citation. After the citation is submitted to the ABLE Commission it is the responsibility of the student and parent to follow through with the Commission’s requirements.

The school’s new citation policy is supported by State Bill 33 that Governor Stitt signed in April 2019, expanding the Tobacco Free Schools Act to include all vaping products, non-combustible vaping devices and cartridges whether they contain nicotine or not.

Multiple school districts within the state have implemented the citation policy as well and feel that the only way to reduce current student use is to have stronger consequences.

Youth vaping has been called a national epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adolescents appear to be unaware and misinformed about the addictive and dangerous effects of using e-cigarette devices, most commonly JUUL products.

In 2018, the CDC reports that 3.6 million middle and high school aged youth used an e-cigarette product within 30 days while Oklahoma reports that 1 in 6 high school students are using e-cigarette products statewide.

Oologah-Talala Public Schools wants to help families be informed and get the resources they need, while taking the stance that JUULs or any e-cigarette products will not be tolerated on school campus. Parent information booklets on the risks of vaping can be accessed in the enrollment office or middle school and high school front offices. If a parent or guardian would like more information on the dangers of youth vaping or resources on helping a youth quit, we encourage you to utilize the 1-800-QUIT NOW line or check out the FDA’s website https://therealcost.betobaccofree.hhs.gov.

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