The Cumberland County Juvenile Court system has asked all law enforcement officers to destroy tobacco products possessed by minors.
Julie Long serves as a program coordinator with the Cumberland County Rising Anti-Drug Coalition. She said vaping and vape products have led to more problems with Cumberland County youth.
“Vaping is becoming a big issue here in our community, especially the middle school and our younger high school age students,” Long said. “Last year, the biggest offense with school kids having legal consequences was vaping, and I think they’re just trying to get on top of it this year and not have the outbreak we did last year.”
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement Monday via Facebook.
According to the statement, the decision was made “due to ongoing issues associated with tobacco and vaping products and devices being brought into [Cumberland County] schools”.
Per court order, officers in Cumberland County will be able to destroy “any and all” tobacco and vape products or devices in possession of a minor.
Long said smoking and vaping can lead to side effects most teens aren’t aware of.
“Vaping can cause what they call ‘popcorn lung’. That’s when your bronchial tube have little holes in it where when you breathe in, you don’t get a really good, deep breath,” Long said. “Also, with vape pens, there’s not a filter so you’re getting all of the nicotine when you inhale that. It’s not as healthy as what some people think it is.”
The sheriff’s office reports minors in possession of tobacco products may face additional juvenile citations in addition to losing their tobacco products.