Students most often become acquainted with addictive substances at schools.
“It seems pretty cool — that dizziness for a few seconds, and you want more and more, and the dose increases. Most likely, I started using because there were some acquaintances ones who started, and I asked them to try, and I liked it, and bought it myself, too,“ one Baloži high school student told Zemgale Television.
Schools are looking for solutions to combat young people's desire to use different substances, but local governments admit that this fight is not straightforward because school workers are forbidden to do a lot of things.
“It's not as easy to check things. Young people are asked to present the contents of the bag, I can't go through the contents of the bag myself, “explained Baložī High School social worker Inga Boša.
Chairman of the Ķekava municipality Council Juris Žilko also admitted that the situation is quite dramatic.
“We are appealing to the whole community, but parents in particular, to help schools. Amendments to the rules on the circulation of these electronic cigarettes may also be necessary,” he said.
One solution is to raise the age at which cigarettes and smoking equipment can be purchased. Similarly, representatives of the municipality of Ķekava think that it should be prohibited to sell e-cigarettes of different flavors, but only to allow tobacco flavor.
In contrast, raids and inspections by school management or police do not particularly help, according to the students. Students learn about such inspections in advance, and everything is quickly hidden away.
The local government police pointed out that the problem has been ongoing for a long time. In addition, the system set up by pupils to sell unauthorized items is also worsening the situation.
"We found cases where, say, there was a kind of wholesale - pupils buy in one place and sell to schoolmates for some sort of slightly higher amount. This one was also a source of earning for them," said Māris Bomiņš, the police chief of Ķekava local government.
If a student is caught using and selling unauthorized substances, an administrative violation process may be initiated against him or her, which may result in different types of penalties.