Schools to warn pupils that vaping is ‘addictive and dangerous’
Schoolchildren will be warned by teachers that vaping is addictive and poses a potential risk to their health in an attempt to stem the rise in teenagers taking it up.
The government will issue teachers with briefing packs on the dangers of vaping following fears over addiction.
Children are to be warned about the addictiveness of nicotine amid evidence that young people’s developing brains may be more sensitive to its effects.
The Department of Health is funding the push which will be targeted at pupils aged aged between 11 and 13, according to the Times.
Short films to inform children about the risks, of both nicotine and non-nicotine vapes wil be shown to pupils, it reports.
There will be accompanying notes for teachers who will be encouraged to prompt conversations about the topic with students.
Meanwhile teachers are asking parents and older siblings not to buy vapes for underage kids as there is “zero fruit” in them even though some are fruit flavoured.
According to the annual YouGov Smokefree youth survey for Action on Smoking and Health, the percentage of children who vape more than once a week has risen from 1.3 per cent in 2020 to 3.1 per cent in 2022.
Specialists are now warning, as well as fears vaping could cause brain development issues, it could also be a gateway to other drugs.
Ministers are also debating discouraging e-cigs by introducing a levy on disposable vapes.
Sir Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, previously warned that the country must crackdown on vaping kids as numbers continue to climb.
The health chief said the marketing of the products towards teens was “utterly unacceptable”.
He explained some brands are “clearly marketed at children” and it should not be allowed.
The number of children trying out vaping has risen by 50% in the past year, according to a survey of 2,656 young people conducted in March and April this year by YouGov for charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
Experimental vaping among 11 to 17-year-olds in Britain increased from 7.7% to 11.6%, the data showed.
While the number of children who admitted trying vaping once or twice has roughly doubled in the past nine years, from 5.6% in 2014 to 11.6% this year.
The figures were submitted as part of the government’s call for evidence on measures to lower the number of children who vape - but also ensure e-cigarettes can be accessed by adults who want to stop smoking.