Kansas board urges schools to ban vaping, even for visitors

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas State Board of Education is encouraging the state's local public school districts to prohibit vaping and to include staff and any visitors at school activities in the ban along with students.

The Kansas City Star reports that the board unanimously approved a policy Tuesday calling for districts to prohibit students and staff from using, possessing or promoting vape pens and other tobacco products on school property, in school vehicles or at activities.

The policy also calls for banning parents, volunteers, contractors and vendors from using tobacco products and e-cigarettes on school-owned property, in school vehicles and at school-sponsored activities, programs or events.

The federal Centers for Disease Control has linked vaping to almost 2,300 cases of lung injuries and nearly 50 deaths across the nation, including two in Kansas.

Many school Kansas districts already prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on school property. But Kansas Department of Education program consultant Mark Thompson told the board that he would be surprised if more than a handful of districts had as comprehensive a policy as the one it approved.