Vaping News

Vaping At School

The Sun’s Mum’s vaping son gets vaping community’s sharp tongue.

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This week’s news story in The Sun about a mother demanding her son’s right to vape in school caused a massive outcry from vapers on social media. While some acknowledged that vaping instead of smoking is a good thing, many applied double standards when it comes down to the age of the quitter.

The story originated in the Manchester Evening News where mum, Sue Dunn, complained her son’s school were obstructing Mason in his attempt to quit smoking. The Mirror and The Sun leapt upon the news, but it was the selective coverage of the latter that was shared across social media prompting vitriolic outbursts. Personalised and hurtful comments were directed at the boy and his mother demonstrating a lack of compassion in many areas of the vaping community.

It highlights a very contentious and problematic aspect of the vaping debate. Vapers advocate that electronic cigarettes ought to be accepted by politicians and public health bodies because they offer a safer alternative to cigarettes and more successful route out when compared to traditional nicotine replacement products. Yet it would seem that many do not believe this opportunity should be allowed for teenage smokers.

The fears held by many opposed to vaping are that it creates a gateway opportunity for youths to try an ecig before becoming addicted to nicotine and progressing onto tobacco. This has been dismissed by many leading figures as unsupportable on the back of the continual decline of smoking rates. And yet here is a smoker doing exactly the opposite – vaping to escape smoking.

Mason, 14-years old, began smoking when he was 12 following the death of his father. After two years smoking up to ten fags a day his family converted him to vaping this summer. The problems began when he was caught using his box mod at school and had it confiscated.

The Sun failed to report a number of key factors surrounding the event. His mother explained: “I am not happy about the fact that he smokes in the first place, but we have tried everything to help him stop. We have tried patches and have been to the doctor, but nothing worked, so my eldest son bought him an e-cigarette and it helped him stop smoking cigarettes. He has really made an effort.”

In addition, the school were fully aware of the smoking problem and were working with the mother to combat it, having got the school nurse to provide quit strategies.

A teacher told POTV: “It’s common practice to turn a blind eye to smoking at school. Kids who have an addiction perform better in class if we let them have time out to get a cheeky nicotine fix. It’s not that we support smoking; it’s a fine line in deciding what is best for the child and you have to pick your battles. Clearly openly vaping or smoking is a no-no.”

Mason’s head teacher said: “For the safeguarding of all our students, smoking, including the use of any nicotine inhalation devices are not allowed.” The school have returned his mod.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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