Mass. vape buy back program will target teen vaping through school funding

BOSTON — A Massachusetts state representative has a new idea to combat the youth vaping epidemic, and he says it will force vape manufacturers to put some skin in the game.

His initiative is a vape 'buy-back program' and it could also put some extra money back into schools.

"This is what has been confiscated...there's so much more," Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose) said as he showed everything that had been confiscated in just two months at one school. "The use of these things is exploding amongst our kids."

Broduer says educators need help combat the youth vaping epidemic, so he's proposing a vape buy-back program.

"As our educators seize this material from students who shouldn't be having it, the schools notify the manufacturers, send the seized products back to the manufacturers and the manufacturers cut a check for the retail price," Brodeur explained.

They send that check back to the schools to use toward educating students about vaping risks.

As Boston 25 News first reported in August, a Centers for Disease Control survey found during the 2017-18 school year, e-cigarette use among high school students rose 78 percent for high school students and 48 percent among middle schoolers.

Brodeur, a father of two high school students, says he's heard from school leaders in Melrose and Wakefield on the front lines of the vaping epidemic. Brodeur says they need more tools in the toolbox.

He thinks his buyback program would provide that.

"Kind of a grassroots idea that I think sends a powerful message to an industry that has said, 'we dont want to sell to kids.'" he said. "Well this is an opportunity for them to put some skin in the game."

You can read more about the Vape Buy Back Program.

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