QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - Local schools are battling a massive uptick in vaping incidents, and now the Quakertown school district is taking legal action.
It's one of the first, if not the first, district in Pennsylvania to call in the lawyers, and the move is getting the attention of other school districts in our area.
Quakertown is just the latest school district to take vaping companies to court. Districts in Missouri, Kansas, New York, Washington and Arizona are also filing suits.
Quakertown School Board members unanimously passed a measure to sue vaping manufacturers. Quakertown officials say the marketing and sale of vaping products has severely impacted the district and its students.
Educators in the Lehigh Valley say vaping is equally problematic.
While Bethlehem is not considering legal action, Kathy Halkins, district supervisor of health services, says staff members are being trained how to spot vaping and are keeping a close eye on vaping hot spots like bathrooms.
"The hard part with vaping is that you don't always have the smell. With smoking it was quite evident," Halkins said.
Both Bethlehem and Allentown have added vaping to their anti-tobacco use policies and have made it a disciplinary infraction. The districts are also working with community health partners to educate people about the dangers of vaping.
Quakertown officials say they are the first district to file in the state, but that they anticipate other districts will follow.
Meantime, if you would like to know more about the dangers of vaping, the Center for Humanistic Change is holding a workshop Wednesday, November 13 at Trexler Middle School at 3:45 p.m.