FULTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Harper Ells is a junior at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton. She says e-cigarette use is prevalent among students.
“They typically hide it pretty well, though I will say,” Ells said. “They try not to do it in class. That’s why they’re always in the bathrooms.”
She tries to avoid running into peers vaping in the bathroom which means she might have to use one on another side of the building.
“There’s a chance you’ll be associated with them, in that group if they do a random bathroom check. There’s also the chance they do pressure me that one time I try to go to the bathroom. You don’t really know,” Ells explained.
In the Fulton district from September through March there were 88 vaping incidents, with 62 involving Elf Bar, an e-cigarette brand from China.
Senator Chuck Schumer said the brand is targeting kids on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram using influencers and packaging with flavors like cotton candy. The Senator said on TikTok alone elf bar has 1.7 billion views.
It’s not just a problem in Fulton, so Schumer is sending a letter to the FDA asking them to investigate Elf Bar.
“It’s advertising model, its work around disposable e-cigs, see if they violated the law and shut them down,” Schumer explained. “The bottom line is clear, we want the FDA to shut this down before Elf bar becomes Juul 2.0.”
Police are working with schools and checking shops regularly.
“We’re going to do compliance checks in vape shops for vaping to make sure they’re not selling the items that are banned here in New York State and they’re not selling to people underage,” said Fulton Police Chief, Michael Curtis.
Chief Curtis said they have and will continue to arrest those who buy for those who are under age.