Electronic cigarettes will no longer be allowed on public or private school grounds across New York State. Governor Cuomo signed legislation to ban the use. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with a health behavior expert at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
"Nobody thinks it is a good idea for kids to be using e-cigarettes. Not allowing e-cigarettes on school grounds is a common sense measure,” remarked Dr. Andrew Hyland, chair of Health Behavior at Roswell.
The state believes by banning e-cigarettes on school grounds it could work to "diminish" access by youth and continue to prevent smoking among children and teens.
Dr. Hyland tells WBFO News most alluring to the e-cigarettes is the flavor, especially for youth.
“One of the key factors that our research, and other research shows, is the flavors – the different kind of flavors that e-cigarettes come in are an attraction. They what the prime reason why kids say that they try any cigarette,” Dr. Hyland noted.
A state Health Department survey found in the last couple of years e-cigarette use doubled among high school students. It jumped from 10.5 percent to 20.6 percent last year. A U.S. Surgeon General's report indicated e-cigarettes use among high school students’ skyrocketed 900-percent from 2011 to 2015.
Dr. Hyland said it is a mission for Roswell to keep nicotine products out of the hands of youth.
"Some people ask me what's the deal with e-cig are they safe, are they safer – I like to refrain the question – what we definitely know is that cigarette smoking is incredibly lethal – anything to stop kids from starting cigarette smoking is going to have a huge public health benefit,” Dr. Hyland stated.
The state notes this e-cigarette ban on school grounds includes any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds within a public or private pre-school, nursery school, elementary, or high school's property and this ban includes any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.