STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - New numbers from the CDC show more and more kids and teenagers are now using electronic cigarettes, which contain nicotine. Ste. Genevieve school officials are combating this trend by adding e-cigarettes to the list of things not allowed inside school facilities.
"Students are not allowed to smoke, period," Superintendent Shelley Jokerst said.
School officials say they're not allowing e-cigarettes for more reasons than one.
"It started out as a supervision issue and then the more we talked about it, the more we realized that it may also be an issue of trying to combat the interest of young people in beginning to smoke," Jokerst said.
A new CDC study shows 76 percent of students who have smoked e-cigarettes have also smoked traditional ones. Jokerst calls them a gateway to smoking.
"The electronic cigarettes do still contain nicotine and so that's one of the main harmful ingredients and the very addictive part," Jokerst said.
One parent says he sees the new smoking gadget differently.
"E-cigarettes, I mean, I don't consider them a real cigarette so I don't see a problem with it as long as they're 18," said George McCain, father of Ste. Genevieve student.
McCain says he doesn't think smoking e-cigs will lead to smoking traditional cigarettes.
"I don't think they would go to a real cigarette because I've seen all the chemicals and everything they put in it, if they're smart, stay with an e-cigarette," McCain said.
School officials say they're not taking any chances.
"We feel like starting smoking is a bad idea and it's not good for them and it keeps us in that staunch position of advocating what's good for them both in their health, education, and welfare," McCain said.
Smoking is still allowed on parking lots around school facilities.