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State bans e-cigarettes in schools

The Maine Legislature passed a bill prohibiting electronic smoking devices in schools earlier this year. The law goes into effect September 19.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The growing popularity of electronic smoking devices among teens has people in the state worried. It's why the Maine Legislature passed a bill banning the devices from schools.

The law goes into effect September 19. South Portland High School's principal Michele LaForge says they've seen an uptick in the flash drive looking devices over the past few years.

RELATED: Maine Senate approves ban on e-cigs from schools

"We already banned it by policy so having the support at the state level is incredible," said LaForge.

According to the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 15.3% of high school youth reported using e-cigarettes. 33.2% reported trying them. 

LeeAnne Dodge is the program director for SoPo Unite. It's a drug free community coalition. She says while many schools already have policies in place, this law sends a message to everyone.

"If you think about all the community members that come for sporting events, or here at South Portland we have a huge auditorium we use, so it's also for community members not to be using or vaping when they are out in the parking lot or picking up kids," said Dodge.

RELATED: CDC reports 153 possible cases of lung disease connected to vaping

She and others hope this law is the next step to stop teen use.

"With parents, coaches, teachers, community members, not just youth but again to send the message, this is serious," said Dodge.

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