Barnegat to Crack Down on Vaping in Schools

E-Cigs Possession Will Be Banned
Feb 13, 2019

In 1973, Brownsville Station had a big hit with “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.”

An updated version of that song might be re-titled “Vaping in the Boys Room,” which is now a concern in the Barnegat Township school system and has prompted the Barnegat Township Committee to introduce a ban on that conduct.

The town’s tobacco products ordinance would be amended with a new definition for “electronic smoking devices,” which is now termed as a device “that can be used to define nicotine, cannabis or other substances to the person inhaling from that device including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or pipe.”

The ordinance bans the use, sale and possession of such electronic smoking devices by individuals under the age of 18 in public places.

“I’ve been working hard with the school district and the superintendent, and I think this will give them some teeth to take care of this problem they’ve been having,” said Mayor Alfonso Cirulli.

Committeeman Albert Bille said that he had met with Police Chief Keith Germain, who told him that sometimes you walk into the (school) bathroom and “you can’t see.”

“It’s like foggy London Town with all these electronic smoking devices. And this is something that has to be addressed,” he said.

Deputy Mayor John Novak, who is police department liaison, said the school resource officers had alerted him to the situation.

“I don’t know where these kids are getting these devices, but they’ve become quite popular. And they don’t belong in our schools,” he said.

District Superintendent Brian Latwis said that one of his biggest concerns is what the students are inhaling.

“They could be putting marijuana or other drugs in them,” said Latwis. He said a federal survey has indicated that twice as many high school students used nicotine-tinged electronic cigarettes this year compared with last year – an unprecedented single-year jump in a large annual survey of teen smoking, drinking and drug use.

“It’s not just a problem here, but in many other high schools,” said Latwis. “It’s something that has been on a lot of school administrators’ minds.”

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next Barnegat Township Committee meeting, Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.

—Eric Englund

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