Best Practice

Addressing vaping: Working with parents

If current trends in vaping continue, all children would be vapers within five years. But the government is acting. In the meantime, what can schools do to support parents and address this issue? Matthew Godfrey advises
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The current prevalence of vaping among teens is a central concern for all schools and parents.

Earlier this year, the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health described its rise as an “epidemic” among teenagers, even though vaping is illegal under the age of 18 (see Hall & Skopeliti, 2023).

It is sobering to think that if the current trend in vaping were to continue, all children would be vapers within five years.

Dr Mike McKean, vice-president of policy for the Royal College, is warning that without action we could see long-term addictions and lung damage.

The government is starting to move on this issue with the Department of Health and Social Care this week announcing plans for a UK-wide ban on disposable vapes, which it says have driven an “alarming rise in youth vaping”. It is already illegal to sell any cape to anyone under-18, but the DHSC says that the number of children using vapes in the past three years has tripled and use among younger children is also rising, with 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds now using vapes.

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