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In Salem, a buyback not for guns -- but for vape pens and e-cigarettes

A woman exhales while vaping from a Juul e-cigarette in Vancouver, Wash.
A woman exhales while vaping from a Juul e-cigarette in Vancouver, Wash.Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The city of Salem says it will pay $50 to high schoolers who give up vaping.

The city says it’s working in partnership with North Shore Community Health and North Shore Medical Center to launch the one-year pilot program.

The program will start on March 2.

Salem residents who attend Salem High School, Salem Academy Charter School, New Liberty Innovation School, and Salem High School can bring an e-cigarette or vape pen to the Teen Health Center at Salem High School. They will receive a $50 gift card to Target, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, or other area businesses.

There’s one catch. Students also must participate in and complete vaping cessation support sessions. The 45-minute session will take place in the Teen Health Center at Salem High.

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“The negative health effects from vaping are now clearly established, so I hope all Salem kids who might use these potentially deadly devices will consider bringing it in for the buy-back,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement. “By coupling the gift card with cessation services, we’re also hoping to help youth successfully break the vaping habit for good, too. I’m grateful to North Shore Medical Center, North Shore Community Health, our school nurses, the Salem Health Department, and the Salem Youth Commission, all of whom had a role in making this exciting pilot possible.”

Those looking for more information about the program can contact their school nurses or call the Teen Health Center at 978-740-1220, the city said.