The Russellville School District has joined a national lawsuit by schools against Juul, the maker of vaping products, for marketing to young people without adequately informing them of risks.

A news release said the Streett Law Firm in Russellville is joining with other firms in the lawsuit, filed in California. From the release:


Dr. Mark Gotcher, Superintendent of the Russellville School District, recognized the seriousness of the vaping crisis in the 2018-2019 school year after two students suffered medical emergencies on campus as a result of vaping. After educating himself about vaping and nicotine addiction, he worked with school leaders to amend existing discipline policies on campuses in an attempt to curb usage among students and educate them about the dangers of vaping.

“What I thought I understood about vaping was that it was a safer alternative to smoking,” Dr. Gotcher says. He discovered that one vape cartridge could contain as much nicotine as several packs of cigarettes. “That was very alarming to me,” he says. “It really put things into perspective and allowed me to come to my own conclusion of how deep a problem this could be for youth across our nation and our very own students.”

About 20 percent of the district’s students have tried vaping, the release said.