Revelstoke high school buys students' vapes for food credit

School offers to buy vapes

With health concerns mounting, a Revelstoke high school is offering to buy back students' vapes.

Students at Revelstoke Secondary School are encouraged to bring their vapes in for a cafeteria credit.

"We realized that we were dealing with students that are addicted to nicotine, so we were throwing out ideas, in some ways in desperation trying to figure out how to help students. I suggested we buy their vapes for cafeteria credit just to get them out of their hands and to ensure that they didn't sell them to younger students," says Principal Greg Kenyon.

The program has taken in 45-50 vapes since September.

The school works in several ways to support students in quitting smoking and vaping.

"We have a public health nurse that comes into school once-a-week. We have one of our doctors come in once a week. We have great relationships with our local pharmacies for nicotine replacement.

"Our parent advisory council was very supportive. They offered to give some money to pay for the cafeteria credit. We had a local business write us a cheque. We have had local citizens offer to help pay for it as well," says Kenyon.

He believes students are responding in a positive way.

"The anecdotal reports that we get talking with students is that because there are less vapes floating around, that fewer people are starting ... Some students are quitting and others are cutting back. The thing the students appreciate is that we are working with them to try and help them with their nicotine addiction."

Media outlets across the country have called to learn about the program.

"Any publicity of this really spurs discussion with parents and children about the dangers of vaping."

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