Leader Assistant Editor
Many people have the misconception that e-cigarettes are harmless because of water vapor. But the truth is they are as dangerous as regular cigarettes, containing nicotine and other harmful chemicals. They are illegal for anyone under 19, but have recently become a problem with youth in the Bear River Valley.
Garland Police Chief Linda Bourne said e-cigarettes have been an issue at Bear River High School and even Bear River Middle School since September. The youth using them range from 14-18. She said, “They (students) have been sucked in by the media that these are safe.”
People are uneducated about e-cigarettes, Bourne said, because they are relatively new. The youth are telling their parents there is nothing wrong with them. But the police are seeing it differently. Even though they do not have tobacco in them, youth caught with e-cigarettes will be given a Minor in Possession of Tobacco citation, because e-cigarettes fall under the same statute as cigarettes in Utah.
Bourne said some caught with e-cigarettes think they are not against the law. Other say if they had known they were bad they would have never bought them. Sometimes youth argue the dangers with police, while others act as if the police are lying.
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.
Seth Allred said he gave up a pack-a-day smoking habit when he began using e-cigarettes, and believes he is healthier, coughs less and has more stamina.