E-cigarettes, hookah pens a growing problem at Kern County schools

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - School officials around Bakersfield are seeing an upward trend of students bringing e-cigarettes and hookah pens to campus, according to Kevin Keyes with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

Last month, there were three e-cigarettes confiscated in a week at Rosedale Middle School. 

“We were able to call them in and indeed they did have that (e-cigarette)..then a couple of more showed up. That to me seemed like something I needed to let our parents know,” said Principal Becky Devahl from Rosedale Middle School.

Devahl then sent out a mass email to parents letting them know the hazards of e-cigrettes and hookah pens. Since, the letter was sent out to parent the school has not confiscated anymore paraphernalia.

Keyes explained that the access to e-cigs and hookah pens is becoming easier for students of all ages to obtain. Currently you must be at least 18 years old in order to purchase either item.

“Students are able to obtain the electronic cigarettes over the Internet. They can buy them on eBay and if you go into any convenience store you will see them at the point of purchase,” Keyes said. “They come in flavors targeting young people like gummy bear and fruity flavors.”

Keyes said parent should be aware of all of the hazards of E-cigs and hookah pens, which are filled with nicotine. 

“The main concern is that some of these students aren’t aware that they are getting addicted by using these products,” Keyes said.

Although e-cigs and hookah pens are banned from schools, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools is in the process of changing the drug-tobacco policy in student-handbooks to include the words e-cigarettes and hookah pens.

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