There is no doubt that the use of e-cigarettes amongst young people at schools is worrying for parents, school staff and young people themselves. Vaping is inherently harmful because it involves inhaling chemicals typically used for industrial cleaning that are not safe to inhale into the lungs.
Local schools have reflected that although many young people choose not to smoke or vape, there has been an alarming increase in young people found to be vaping in the community and at school. School staff have reported spending many hours per week responding to students found vaping. Students report direct impacts from vaping, such as reliance on e-cigarettes, along with indirect impacts for young people that don’t vape, such as reduced access to toilets. Vaping is putting pressure on teaching staff and is impacting the learning, health and wellbeing of young people.
The Health Promotion Team have brought together a collective of schools working to preventing students vaping in schools. The first community of practice, which occurred on Monday 7 November, encouraged school staff to share practical strategies that are working to prevent vaping.
“School staff across our region wanted to connect with each other to share resources and examples of what is working and not working in schools to respond to vaping,” says Kristen, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health. “The community of practice was really well attended. Overall we had 38 registrations. From that 27 teachers, principals and youth support workers attended from across Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.”
“It feels good to be doing something positive to support schools and young people on the topic of vaping.”
To support schools and youth support workers, the Health Promotion Team have developed the Vaping and E-Cigarette Prevention toolkit for schools and youth settings. This is a ‘one stop shop’ for engaging classroom learning, parent resources and links for young people reaching out for support to quit using e cigarettes.
“We wanted to provide a practical and evidence based resource, specifically for schools in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas,” says Eva, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health.
“These resources are wonderful,” said Head of Respectful Relationships, local P-12 school.
If your school would like access the Vaping Prevention toolkits and resources, click on this link.
To join the community of practice for schools tackling vaping, please email email@example.com