Posted: Oct 30, 2013 9:18 PM by Alex Labat
Updated: Oct 30, 2013 9:25 PM
You may have had this happen to you recently,
You're sitting in at work, when suddenly you see a puff of smoke.
More people are turning to electronic cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking, and the industry is booming.
Wells Fargo estimates the electronic cigarette market is currently worth $2 Billion.
That number could top $10 Billion by the year 2017.
However, those numbers could see a downturn, as the devices are still unregulated.
The World Health Organization says as of July of this year, no rigorous studies, have been conducted to test the positive or negative effects of e-cigarettes.
This summer, the Lafayette Parish School Board changed it's disciplinary policy, adding electronic cigarettes to the list of banned substances.
Electronic cigarettes can be seen in more and more places as their uses becomes more popular.
However, one place you won't be seeing the personal vaporizers pop up, are in Lafayette Parish Schools.
"We really saw e-cigarettes coming on the horizon. And so we specifically added an electronic cigarette to the consequences of behavior policy", says the parish's Director of Health and Wellness Bradley Cruice.
He says the new rules are a preventative measure, since so much is still unknown about the effects of smoking them.
"It is a suspendable offense, but then again we want to contact the parent and then connect that student with a counselor so we can really educate that child", says Cruice.
"In the middle of our door is "No one under the age of 18 allowed without a parent or guardian"", says Gerri Simon, co-owner of "Swamp Vapor" in Lafayette.
Businesses like "Swamp Vapor" have seen a surge in customers interested in electronic cigarettes, but she and Liz Koratich agree the devices need to be banned in schools, especially since one of them is a former teacher of 17 years.
"I wouldn't want them in my classroom. Kids that age have no business with them as far as I'm concerned", says Koratich.
The vendors say the devices are meant to help ween people off of cigarettes, and kids under 18 smoking e-cigarettes are picking up a habit many are struggling to quit.
"Look I'm going to cry. Pathetic. We're here to help", says Koratich.
We reached out to the Food and Drug Administration to ask them about their regulations on electronic cigarettes.
An FDA spokesman says, "The FDA intends to propose a regulation that would extend the agency's "tobacco product" authorities to other products that meet the definition of "tobacco product. Further research is needed to assess the potential public heath benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes".