Daily Record


Head’s bid to stop teens using e-cigs

- BY DAN VEVERS Environmen­t Reporter

A HIGH school has become one of the first in the country to install “screaming” vape detectors in a bid to clamp down on underage vaping.

The Royal High School in Edinburgh has invested about £1000 on the devices, which are wired into the three main toilets.

They go off like a smoke detector if they pick up the chemicals of vape mist, with an alert sent to teachers by text.

Data suggests schools are confiscati­ng thousands of e-cigs from pupils every year – leading, on some occasions, to kids being suspended or expelled.

It comes as a quarter of all 15-year-olds in Scotland admit to being regular vapers – amid fears a new generation is being hooked on nicotine.

Headteache­r Pauline Walker said: “We want to send a message loud and clear. Vaping is not acceptable. We will not permit it. We will not promote it.”

She said the screaming vape detectors were already working as a deterrent with “almost no activation­s” in the toilets since they were switched on.

But the headteache­r warned the challenge of teen vaping at her school remained acute, with many e-cigs picked up by schoolkids “on the black market”.

She said: “They don’t have the controlled nicotine levels in them, they can be very high, so we do see young people who are addicted.

“As a school, we need to support them to give that up the same way we would with smokers.” Iain Welsh, a pupil support teacher at the school, said he regularly catches pupils vaping when they should be in class.

He said: “It’s a constant battle. We move them on and they find somewhere else but we are committed to this to try to break a pretty negative cycle.

“The detectors are going to be a game changer.”

Data from 10 of the nation’s 32 councils found at least 770 vapes had been confiscate­d in schools over the last five years.

A total of 16 pupils were either suspended or expelled.

Police have attended eight vaping-related incidents, while ambulances have attended schools at least a dozen times. The Record has repeatedly highlighte­d the threat of vapes to children as part of our drive to ban disposable e-cigs.

Our Bin the Vapes campaign led to a ban on disposable e-cigs announced across Scotland, England and Wales – set to come into force on April 1 next year.

The detectors are going to be a game changer IAIN WELSH PUPIL SUPPORT TEACHER

 ?? ?? SEND A MESSAGE Royal High School
SEND A MESSAGE Royal High School

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom