Breaking News: District 202 joins lawsuit against electronic cigarette makers

Raven Easterly, In-depth Editor

Plainfield School District 202 is participating in a lawsuit against electronic cigarette manufacturers for targeting a younger audience for their product.

Targeting students to use electronic cigarettes is endangering students, encouraging them to pick up an unhealthy habit.

Statistics posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health show that “between 2016 to 2018, e-cigarette use in Illinois increased from 18.4% to 26.7% among high school seniors, a 45% increase; a 15% increase was seen among 8th-grade students; and a 65% increase among 10th-grade students.”

According to the Truth Initiative, while many adults use electronic cigarettes, students in high school are 16 times more likely to vape than adults ages 25 to 34.

Within District 202 middle and high schools last year, there have been 461 incidents involving electronic cigarettes where students have been disciplined.

“The amount of district resources, time and money involved in discipline and education for these situations would be better spent on teaching and learning,” Abrell said.

Legal fees are contingent on a settlement with the electronic cigarette companies, so the district will not pay any upfront costs for participating in the lawsuit.

“We will do everything we can to promote healthy behaviors and good decision making for our students. Vaping is neither,” Tom Hernandez, Director of Community Relations, said.