Vaping: Wells headteacher working to combat increased usage in schools

Posted: 28th September 2023

A headteacher has called on parents to help him combat the rising issue of vaping in schools.

Mark Woodlock, from the Blue School in Wells, wants tighter regulations on the sale of vapes after seeing a “significant increase” in pupils using them.

He has been working with other headteachers to enlist wider support for a change in the law.

James Heappey MP said he will pass Mr Woodlock’s concerns to the government.

Vapes and e-cigarettes were introduced to encourage people to stop smoking cigarettes, by helping them to manage nicotine cravings.

However, young, non-smokers have taken up the habit of vaping, as a cheaper, more accessible and tastier alternative to smoking.

Mr Woodlock said the rise in vape usage at his school coincides with the national picture.

He said: “You start to worry that something that is potentially very damaging to children’s health has become the next cool thing.”

Although the school has enforced management processes like vape alarms, managed social areas and education of the dangers, Mr Woodlock said the problem lies in the marketing and the accessibility of the products.

“When you see a bubblegum-flavoured vape marketed on certain social media sites using cartoon characters with flashy, coloured images, that is not aimed at a 45-year-old ex-smoker. That is aimed at young people.”

In response to Mr Woodlock’s letter, Wells MP Mr Heappey said: “I congratulate the Headteacher of The Blue School on his excellent letter to parents and the robust approach that he and his staff take to the use, possession and dealing of vapes in school.

“I also welcome the steps being taken by Avon and Somerset Police force to clamp down on the illegal sale of vapes to clearly underage people.

“It’s time that we all realised what a scourge vapes are and how widely they are being used by school aged children.

“I will of course pass on The Blue School’s recommendations to the government but in the meantime we as a community, police force and school will need to work together to ensure the existing laws are enforced.”

Source: Vaping: Wells headteacher working to combat increased usage in schools – BBC News

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