- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - School officials in the Fox Cities are updating their guidelines to ban e-cigarettes on school grounds, saying they want to keep their children safe and healthy.

E-cigarettes are plastic and metal devices that resemble traditional cigarettes. They heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that the user inhales.

Some Fox Cities schools already prohibit all tobacco-related products, which include smoking and smokeless products. Now others are revising their policies to specifically include e-cigarettes, Post-Crescent Media reported Tuesday (https://post.cr/1ds337c ).

Val Dreier, an assistant superintendent with the Appleton Area School District, said officials wanted to make sure students and parents understood exactly where the boundaries are.

“We have seen (e-cigarettes) come up occasionally in schools,” Dreier said. “The fact they have come up at all, we want make it clear to students that this is not acceptable.”

Officials said the point wasn’t to clamp down on students, so much as to direct them toward resources that help them avoid chemical dependencies.

“Our goal is to keep our children safe and to keep them healthy, and to rely on people instead of relying on chemicals,” said Cindy Czarnik-Neimeyer, the drug-awareness coordinator for Appleton schools. “We create boundaries for our children and our students in the district, but we also create supports.”

She noted that the district was also concerned that students might try to replace nicotine with marijuana in e-cigarette cartridges.

Other schools in the area have already included e-cigarettes to their lists of banned items. Chilton and Menasha did so in 2011 and Kaukauna did so last month.

Some Wisconsin colleges, such as University of Wisconsin-River Falls, have also banned e-cigarettes. University officials there said the decision was influenced in part by a lack of data on the long-term health effects of inhaling nicotine vapor from the battery-powered device.

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Information from: Post-Crescent Media, https://www.postcrescent.com

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