The Goddard Public School District in Kansas plans to file a lawsuit against the e-cigarette and vaping industry in hopes of stopping the health crisis caused by e-cigarettes and vaping among children and teenagers.
The lawsuit is expected to be filed in the next few weeks and is thought to be the first of its kind.
Goddard Superintendent Justin Henry said that studies have concluded that 1 in 5 highschoolers and 1 in 20 middle schoolers used e-cigarettes last year.
“It’s a big issue. It’s [children] doing it, how it’s impacting their brain now and in the future, how much time and resources our teachers and administrators and law enforcement have to put toward this,” Henry said.
The school board says litigation will seek to, “Compensate the district for damages suffered by the district and its students as a result of the manufacture, marketing, sale and use of electronic-cigarettes and vaping products, and to seek any other appropriate relief.”
“We have found that it is disruptive to our education process on a daily basis. And we believe that it is our responsibility as a school district to protect the kids from what we feel is a … growing crisis,” school board President Kevin McWhorter said.
Lee Norman, Kansas secretary of health and environment, has urged people to stop vaping.
“If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify. I’m extremely alarmed for the health and safety of Kansans who are using vaping products and urge them to stop until we can determine the cause of vaping related lung injuries and death,” he said.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify a dollar amount in penalties.