Last Friday 10 June, the Minister for Education and Training, the Honourable Sue Ellery MLC, announced the new WA Schools Anti-Vaping Toolkit. At Chisholm, through our Pastoral Care Programmes and Health Curriculum, we continue to raise the awareness of vaping and the dangers surrounding e-cigarettes. The WA Schools Anti-Vaping Toolkit contains information on strategies to minimise vaping among students and how vaping can be addressed in the curriculum. The resources aim to support schools to deliver prevention education designed to increase awareness about the harms and dispel common myths about vaping.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, often called ‘vapes’, are electronic devices designed to deliver vapourised liquids into the lungs. There are many different styles of vapes and types of e-liquids, or e-juices, available. Vapes come in many shapes and sizes and can be made to look like everyday items including highlighters, pens or USB memory sticks.
The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true. Vapes are not safe.
- Many vapes contain nicotine making them very addictive.
- The nicotine in 1 vape can equal 50 cigarettes.
- Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. They just don’t put it on the pack.
- Vapes can leave young people at increased risk of depression and anxiety.
- Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes.
- Vape aerosol is not water vapour.
- Vaping has been linked to serious lung disease.
- Vapes that contain nicotine can cause long-lasting negative effects on young people’s brain development.
SIGNS YOUR CHILD MIGHT BE VAPING
Tell-tale signs that your child might have started vaping include the symptoms of nicotine addiction such as feeling irritable or anxious.
THE LAWS AROUND SELLING VAPES
It is reported that young people often purchase vapes online, from retail stores or from friends and contacts in the community. However, it is illegal in WA to sell e-cigarette devices and nicotine vaping products to anyone regardless of age, unless they are prescribed by a doctor for smoking cessation purposes and obtained with a prescription from a pharmacy.
In WA e-cigarette devices and their components, whether they contain nicotine or not, cannot be sold by tobacco or general retailers. If you suspect someone is selling vapes or e-cigarettes and their components, you can report it to the Department of Health by emailing TobaccoPolicy@health.wa.gov.au.
TALK TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT VAPING
Whether you suspect your child is vaping or not, take the time to talk to them about vaping and help them understand the risks. Try to start the conversation in a relaxed easy-going way, be patient, and remember your goal is to have a conversation, not deliver a lecture. Importantly, have your facts ready.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Get the evidence and facts at www.education.wa.edu.au/drug-education.
Mrs Belinda Pietropaolo
Acting Deputy Principal – Wellbeing