E-Cigs Becoming More Popular in High Schools

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PANAMA CITY- Since smoking is being banned in so many places, e-cigarettes are all the rage for people who still want to smoke in public.

The battery-powered devices provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol.

They don't emit the smoke or the smell that non-smokers complain about.

That’s how they can be concealed, even on school campuses.

"The concerning thing is where the students are getting them because I’m sure they don't see those to underage minors, but the question is where do they get cigarettes,” said Sandy Harrison, Mosley High School principal.

Last year Bay County school board member’s added e-cigarettes to the list of products banned on campuses.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, e-cigarettes used by high school students grew from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012.

"The issue with electronic cigarettes is they're not really regulated. I’m not sure what its doing to their health. The issue is they don't smell like a regular cigarette, so it’s a little harder to catch them. We do have students that, some of them are fairly bold with their use perhaps in a classroom, when the teachers back is turned or so forth."

Mosley High School offers classes like life management skills and personal fitness class where they discuss e-cigarettes.

"Additionally we have a school nurse that's on campus at least once a week and she schedules into classes and speaks to them about, a variety of health issues, including tobacco products and e-cigarette use and so forth."

"Electronic cigarettes are treated on campus like any other tobacco product. They’re not legal for students to have and they are subjected to the same disciplinary measures as any tobacco product would be."

The devices are sold nationwide but are not regulated by the FDA and their health hazards are still unknown.