Should We Allow Vaping In Schools? 12th October 2015 – Posted in: News – Tags: , , ,

There has been a bit of controversy in the news this week when a school confiscated an e-cigarette from a 14-year-old student. The student was bought the e-cigarette by his mother after she found out he had been smoking 10 cigarettes a day after his father died. They had tried other methods to help him quit smoking but the e-cigarette was the only thing helping him cut down without withdrawal symptoms or relapse. This incident sparked a lively debate between parents and officials about the legality and ethics of allowing students in school to smoke e-cigarettes.

Arguments Against Banning E-Cigarettes In School

There has been a lot of argument around the difference between e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco cigarettes, and why one should be deemed safer than the other. The most marked difference between the two is of course that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, and therefore none of the harmful toxins contained in the smoke. Vaping is a cleaner way to smoke, and a very effective way of helping those with a nicotine addiction to cut down and even quit. By using e-cigarettes, vapers are making the conscious decision to take up a healthier habit and improve their life by cutting down, and this is something that should be celebrated. For teens, smoking is always going to be an attractive rebellion prospect, and it’s something that has been going on for decades. But now it has moved from behind the bike sheds and spilt out into the street, there is concern for younger, more impressionable children. In recent years, e-cigarettes have become a more popular form of experimentation for kids when it comes to smoking, with 3 times as many children between the ages of 10 and 11 trying e-cigarettes as tobacco products. As far as rebellion goes, it’s a less harmful alternative, and one that can be given up more easily when the rebellious phase has passed. You can try to ban them from use in schools, but you can be sure they will just resort to using them in secret instead. So would you rather know and be able to help, or not know at all?

Arguments For Banning E-Cigarettes In School

However there are a lot of concerned parents and schools that believe that vaping and e-cigarettes are incredibly harmful when used in a school setting. This doesn’t just go for students either, head teachers union NAHT has expressed concern that pupils may want to copy parents and teachers they see vaping on school premises, and they want to see vaping banned so that children don’t assume it’s safe. Now that it is illegal for nicotine aids to be sold to under 18’s there is hope that the problems might start decreasing, but when parents are buying these products for their children and sanctioning their use, there is a conflict. Schools have every right to insist on a smoke free environment for their students, and there are many who argue that vaping should be treated and sanctioned in the same way as smoking on school grounds. Most schools in the UK now offer stop smoking programmes and help for their students when needed, and argue that allowing students to use e-cigarettes flies in the face of school policies nationwide. Parents state that allowing students with a serious nicotine problem to indulge their habit in front of other students is nothing more than encouragement, and they worry for their own children’s safety. They know the vapours are safer than tobacco smoke, but the research is still unclear about their harmful potential, and are concerned that impressionable children will be peer pressured into taking up smoking via e-cigarettes.

At the end of the day, schools have every right to choose what policies they implement in their schools, especially if it’s in the best interests of their students. As e-cigarettes are a smoking related product, it is understandable for vaping to be sanctioned in the same way. The activates parents choose to allow at home should be private, and if parents like Mrs Dunn think e-cigarettes are the best way to help their children quit their 10 a day smoking habit, then that is their choice.