LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three school districts in Kentucky have sent a letter to local vape businesses urging them to stop the sale of vape products to minors.

Hardin County Schools, LaRue County Schools and Elizabethtown Independent Schools sent the letter out on Friday. In the letter, the school districts ask the businesses to obey the laws of selling vape products, and keeping them behind the counter.

"Growing problems are arising for young people who vape," the letter said. "These problems are becoming apparent within the walls of our schools. Children are starting to experiment with vaping and make a habit of vaping at younger ages than ever before."

The letter also urges businesses selling vape products train employees better to not sell vape products to minors. Landlords of commercial properties are also encouraged to support businesses and individuals in this effort.

"Children are finding ways to access vapes that are lined with extremely dangerous drugs like Fentanyl. Abuse of these products is leading to breathing problems, heart issues, mental fatigue, confusion, etc."

"We've had over 400 vapes confiscated within the three districts, many of which, about a third test positive for THC," said Hardin County Schools Superintendent, Terrie Morgan. 

Morgan said on Friday, an elementary school student was caught with a vape that belonged to their parent. However, Morgan said it sees most violations from high school students.

"We have SROs, and they are called and they do a test on the vape to see if its THC, if it's not THC, we have a punishment of in school suspension for those students, and also we call the parents and tell them if you want this you have to come and pick it up or we throw those away" Morgan said. "If it tests positive for THC then those students are sent to drug education training to learn, you know, what's going to be the dire effects of this years from now." 

Derb E Cigs owner, Troy LeBlanc, said his shops, and others affiliated with The Kentucky Smoke Free Association, have measures in place to prevent sales to underage people. Anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 must present and ID, and products are kept behind counters or locked up.

"Fundamentally, e-cigarettes are used to help people quit smoking, it's not a tool for teens to start a nicotine habit, so when I hear things like this it really disheartens me," LeBlanc said. 

The school districts also said in the letter that they are working with the Kentucky General Assembly on new laws for consequences for individuals and businesses selling vape products to minors. 

LeBlanc, who is president of the Kentucky Free Association, said the association is already working with lawmakers. 

"We want tougher controls on retailors, we want retailors to be held accountable," LeBlanc said. "The big thing is higher fines and licensure here in the state of Kentucky, if you get caught multiple times selling to a minor than you need to have your license taken away." 

LeBlanc said proposed legislation this session, was to create higher fines in the thousands and measures to revoke licenses, but it did not pass. He said the Kentucky Free Association will try again next session.

Elizabethtown Police Department Det. Chris Denham, said underage vape use is, "definitely a problem." Denham said School Resource Officers and curriculum educating on the consequences of vaping have been part of their efforts to fight the problem. 

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