E-cigarettes and Nicotine
Vaping (inhaling a vapour produced by an e-cigarette or electronic vaporizer) amongst young people is increasing across local schools and in the community. As Deputy Principal, I continue to take this issue very seriously. The harmful health effects of vaping are frequently not known by young people, and I ask you to partner with me to help educate your sons about the risks.
Recent data from the Cancer Council shows that one in five students aged 16-17 are trying e-cigarettes. An e-cigarette is a device that heats a flavoured liquid to an aerosol that is inhaled. E-cigarettes are dangerous because e-cigarette liquid is comprised of different chemicals that can include nicotine; flavourings such as the chemical diacetyl (linked to a serious lung disease); heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead; cancer-causing chemicals; and volatile organic compounds. These chemicals have not been tested for safety when inhaled into the lungs.
E-cigarettes can be small and easily hidden. Many popular vapes look like USB sticks, pens, highlighters or cigarettes.
E-cigarettes can cause addiction to nicotine, and we know that nicotine is highly addictive. Nicotine affects the developing teenage brain that does not finish developing until around age 25. Teenagers who use nicotine can damage the sections of their brain that are responsible for learning, mood, attention and impulse control. Research shows that young people who use e-cigarettes also have a higher likelihood of smoking and addiction to cigarettes as adults. Smoking represents the single most preventable cause of death in the developed world.
How Can Parents/Carers Help?
Please prepare yourself with the facts about vaping and speak with your sons about making positive decisions.
Consequences of Vaping at Waverley
Just a reminder that vaping is illegal for people under 18. The College has a clear policy for any student in possession of a vape or e-cigarette whilst on campus. Students face a minimum two-day suspension and are subject to a meeting at the College with their Head of House and Deputy Principal. This also applies to any student in the company of a student consuming a vape or e-cigarette.
Any students found selling vapes to other students will put their enrolment at the College in jeopardy, as vapes and e-cigarettes fall under our drug and alcohol policy. Students in this category will have their enrolment suspended and face an enrolment review meeting with the Principal and Deputy Principal.
Mr Patrick Brennan
Deputy Principal – Student & Staff Wellbeing