The child vaping crisis: From what my daughter says, 90% of her year do it, 14 June
), is certainly something we are seeing in our drug prevention and education work with children and young people. The national drug education charity Hope UK is delivering drug awareness sessions to many thousands of children through the nationwide Junior Citizens Scheme for year 6 pupils who are about to move up to secondary school.
Vaping is something they are familiar with. Most children know of older young people who vape. But they do not have a clear idea of the difference between smoking and vaping. The latter has become so normalised, the perception is that vaping is just something everyone does.
When told about the potential health problems, especially the impact of nicotine addiction on a developing teenage brain, they begin to understand some of the risks.
Health authorities in some parts of the UK are now urging parents to have conversations with their children about the harmful effects of vaping and sooner rather than later.
Effective education has to be one of the first lines of defence against this latest attack upon the health of our young people, alongside much-needed changes to legislation and regulation of vapes. Teachers and parents are crying out for it. Too many young people are already addicted to nicotine the time to act is now.
Mary Deller
Voluntary drug educator, Hope UK
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