SALEM, MASS. (WHDH) – Students in Salem are being asked to participate in a vape pen and e-cigarette buyback program on Monday.
The city is offering students $50 gift cards to Target, Market Basket, Stop & Shop or other area businesses in exchange for their vape pens and cigarette devices, town officials said.
Residents who attend Salem High School, Salem Academy Charter School, New Liberty Innovation School, and Salem Prep High School can turn in their pens and devices to Salem High School’s Teen Health Center.
Salem High School sophomore Carleigh Davidson said she has first-hand knowledge of the problems that come along with vaping.
“For me, it was like harder for me to focus, because I was all over the place because of it,” she said. “It can make you tired sometimes, and people think ‘Oh, we should probably do this because it’s cool,’ or something like that. But, it’s really not.”
Carleigh kicked the habit but said it was no easy feat.
The initiative is being launched to discourage high school-aged youth from vaping in partnership with North Shore Community Health and North Shore Medical Center.
Students will also be required to complete four vaping cessation support sessions at Salem High’s Teen Health Center in order to receive the gift card.
Each session is about 45 minutes long.
“It’s really hard to know exactly how many students will take advantage of it, but the fact that our youth are so excited about it from the youth commission and that we’ve got these great partners,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said, “We hope as many students as possible will take advantage of it.”
Katie Attia who is a nurse practitioner working in the school said she would be happy if even one child turned a vape pen in.
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