E-cigarettes - a briefing for schools


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This is a presentation aimed at school leaders and governors addressing the key information and questions that schools should consider when considering their response to e-cigarettes. It draws on a briefing from the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS). Find more information about ADEPIS http://mentor-adepis.org/

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E-cigarettes - a briefing for schools

  1. 1. E-cigarettes and Nicotine Containing Products An ADEPIS presentation for school leaders and governors
  2. 2. Questions for Schools • Are e-cigarettes an issue for our pupils? • Are e-cigarettes harmful to pupils? • What issues should the school’s policies and guidance cover in respect of the use of e-cigarettes by pupils, and by parents on school premises?
  3. 3. What are e-cigarettes • Electronic cigarettes are battery- powered devices designed to deliver nicotine in a toxin-free vapour. • While many are designed and produced to look and feel like traditional cigarettes, others have different shapes and designs, and not all produce vapour. • Some products are currently being marketed as e-shisha. There is no meaningful distinction between e- shisha products and e-cigarettes, other than marketing. Photo from Flickr user Terry Ozon
  4. 4. Are e-cigarettes widely used by pupils? • Current smokers are more likely to have tried e-cigarettes than non-smokers • About 2.6 million adults are currently using e- cigarettes in Great Britain • Surveys suggest that the use of e-cigarettes among pupils is rare – 1 in 20 among 11-15 year olds who have heard of e-cigarettes had tried them once or twice – None were using them regularly Source: ASH/YouGov Smokefree GB Survey, 2015 Source: ASH, Use of e-cigarettes in Great Britain among adults and young people (2013) http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf
  5. 5. Are e-cigarettes harmful? • There are no circumstances in which it would be safer to smoke than to use an e- cigarette. • However, the extent of nicotine uptake and safety of e-cigarettes has not yet been established and although at present we have little evidence of harm, this could emerge over time. • E-cigarettes generally contain nicotine, propylen glycol (used to create the artificial vapour), glycerin, water, and flavourings • The amount of nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can vary • There is very little quality control which often means there is difference between what is on the label and what is delivered to the user
  6. 6. NICE guidance on smoking cessation • Young people (aged 12-17) should be offered clear information, advice and support on how to stop smoking • Professional judgement must be used to decide whether or not to offer nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) to pupils • E-cigarettes should not be treated as NRT • E-cigarettes are illegal for under 18s
  7. 7. Issues for schools • From May 2016 e-cigarettes will be regulated either through the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA) or through the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) • At present it is illegal to sell these products to under 18s. • DfE guidance says schools and FE colleges would be entitled to include e-cigarettes to their list of prohibited items should they choose. – NB schools must follow the DfEs guidance when exercising powers to search and confiscate items from pupils.
  8. 8. Further questions • How will you control e-cigarettes in your school? – Does your drug or behaviour policies need to be updated? – How would a ban affect adults who are trying to stop smoking by using e-cigarettes? • How could e-cigarettes be included in the PSHE or science curriculum? • How can pupil’s current knowledge of e- cigarettes be assessed?
  9. 9. Further reading • ADEPIS, E-cigarettes and Nicotine Containing Products (NCPs) http://mentor-adepis.org/e-cigarettes-nicotine-containing-products- ncps/ • ADEPIS, E-cigarettes and NCPs: Resource update http://mentor- adepis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/E-cigarettes-and- NCPs_Resource-Update.pdf • ASH, Use of e-cigarettes in Great Britain among adults and young people (2013) http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf • DfE, Screening, searching and confiscation. Advice for headteachers, school staff and governing bodies, July 2013 http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/screening%20search ing%20and%20confiscation%20advice.pdf • NICE, Smoking cessation services guidance http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/11925/39596/39596.pdf
  10. 10. About ADEPIS • The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) is a project run by Mentor, the drug and alcohol the drug and alcohol prevention charity and is funded by Public Health England, Home Office, and Department for Education. • Further resources are available from http://mentor-adepis.org