Press "Enter" to skip to content

Vaping Sensors a Bit Much… But How About Perry’s Vaping Tax?

Vaping is apparently such a burning problem among students that we need a whole town hall on the issue. But “vaping sensors” in the bathroom? Sioux Falls school board president Cynthia Mickelson shows some sensible fiscal restraint:

Some school districts, including Dell Rapids and Mitchell, have installed vaping sensors, but Mickelson says there are challenges in a school district as large as Sioux Falls.

“Do you just put them in the bathrooms? Well, they are vaping in the classrooms. Lincoln High School has 95 classrooms. At $1500 a pop…” [Mark Russo, “Sioux Falls Students Find Ways to Vape,” KELO Radio, 2019.09.30].

Mitchell’s vaping sensors cost $900 apiece… which strikes me as $900 ill-spent. We already spend $48K a year on vaping sensors in every classroom, and those sensors also come with built-in teaching, coaching, counseling, and bulletin-board-making capabilities. Our $48K sensors also have legs, which allow them to walk down the hall into the bathroom, just as they did back in the 1950s looking for those greasers smokin’ in the boys room.

Vaping sensors are an overreaction (not to mention an increasing surrender to ubiquitous police-state surveillance), but school action on vaping will at least address a real health problem and may distract us from terrorizing children with armed teachers and lockdown drills. Maybe my rookie Representative Carl Perry (R-3/Aberdeen) will come back to the 2020 Session with a revamped and jacked-up vaping tax to really put the bite on this new addictive pastime. If Perry’s tax fails again, Mrs. Mickelson could get her husband G. Mark to circulate a petition to put a vaping tax on the 2022 ballot… by which time Juul and the vaping industry may be so shaken up that Kristi Noem’s GOED chief won’t be able to get millions of dollars to oppose that public health measure.

Related Reading: Or we could just follow our Oglala Lakota neighbors and ban e-cigs:

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has banned the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes on the Pine Ridge Reservation amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.

The tribal council approved the ban last week, [that Sioux Falls paper] reported Monday. The maximum penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine of $250 or 30 days in jail.

“The health of our people, including our youth, is of the utmost importance and our tribe has always strived to take a leading role in addressing the health issues of our people,” the ordinance states [“Oglala Sioux Ban E-Cigarettes on Pine Ridge Reservation,” AP via US News and World Report, 2019.09.30].


  1. Donald Pay 2019-10-01 10:02

    Smoking in the boys room seems to be a thing all generations deal with. It used to be the Principal of Vice would sneak in and out of the boys bathrooms. I’m not sure how they policed the girls. Detention used to be the penalty if you got caught. Don’t they have security people? It is against a law or ordinance to smoke in such buildings, isn’t it? Students really should varc* on these folks. Who wants to deal with hazardous second hand smoke? It’s an environmental issue if you ask me. Have police write a few tickets, give a week of detention and see how that goes before you spend money on sensors.

    *I just coined this term.

  2. Debbo 2019-10-01 18:07

    I read an article about what is killing kids.

    Unlicensed sellers get used vaping cylinders, clean them out, sorta, refill and resell them.

    They buy THC oil, but cut it so they can make more $. It’s the ones cut with vitamin E oil that damage lungs. I don’t remember where I read that so I can’t check just how it is that E oil harms lungs.

    According to current investigations, vitamin E oil is the culprit.

Comments are closed.