Eau Claire (WQOW)- Vaping and e-cigarettes are being blamed for severe respiratory illnesses.
In Illinois, one person died from a mysterious illness linked to vaping.
This year, the Eau Claire School District has plans to better educate students who vape on school property.
JUUL devices and other e-cigs can be attractive to teens and young adults because of the flavor and design of the product.
They can be disguised as USB sticks and are easy to hide.
Police said vaping has become a huge problem in middle and high schools in Eau Claire.
They said last year if a student was caught with an e-cig they were given a $50 citation and a suspension.
This year they’re trying a new approach. The Eau Claire Restorative Justice Program is teaming up with the school district and law enforcement to teach students who vape the dangers of the product.
“A two hour workshop called “Catch My Breath” comes at half the cost of a tobacco citation and will take place on the day that the students are placed out of school for their suspension,” said Tim Wavrunek, the director of Eau Claire Restorative Justice Program. “Our hopes is that we’re going to get them some education about the truths behind vaping versus what they see in the media so that they can make informed choices going forward.”
Wavrunek said the class is a one-time opportunity.
He said if a student is caught a second time with an e-cig on school property they will get a $50 fine and a suspension.