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Warren County Schools Join Other Districts Fighting Electronic Cigarette Makers

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Warren County is joining at least five other Kentucky school districts in suing Juul, one of the leading manufacturers of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products. 

Electronic cigarettes have become commonplace at middle and high schools, despite a state law requiring a person to be at least 18 years old to buy them. 

Vaping products have spurred investigations by government regulators who blame their flavored varieties for appealing to teens and halting what had been a steady decline of youth smoking rates.  The lawsuit seeks an injunctive order that would require the company to stop marketing its products to youth.

“Our primary objective is to reach an injunctive order where they would stop marketing to teens, and certainly there’s a possible financial implication here," said Rob Clayton, superintendent of Warren County Public Schools.

Clayton says no taxpayer funds are being used and instead the legal fees will be paid from any compensation the district may receive from the court challenge. 

The district says it’s having to devote more resources toward educating students about the health risks of vaping and disciplining them when they’re caught with vaping devices on school property.

Bullitt County became the first Kentucky school district to sue Juul, followed by Fayette, Jefferson, Marion, and Jessamine counties. 

The individual legal challenges are expected to become part of a multi-district lawsuit that will be filed in San Francisco, California.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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