More than 15 Lincolnshire pupils excluded for vaping at school
and live on Freeview channel 276
Trading Standards says it is the most pressing issue they are currently facing in schools – worse than smoking.
This report, due before Lincolnshire Council’s public protection committee, highlights escalating concern over the vaping epidemic in schools.
The 2022-23 data from Lincolnshire Trading Standards reveals 61 tobacco-related exclusions in Lincolnshire schools, with 28 per cent, 17, due to vaping.
The report further notes the actual number is likely higher due to the recording of some exclusions as tobacco and others as drug-related.
Schools now receive instructions to specify if a tobacco-related exclusion involves vaping.
In response, the council has taken proactive measures, including workshops and writing to businesses, educating them about the laws around selling vape.
Trading Standards is also focusing on educating the younger generation about vaping dangers, conducting workshops in schools and reaching more than 1,000 pupils so far.
The report states: “Based on the tobacco control officers’ experience, vaping is the most pressing issue in Lincolnshire schools, and tobacco use is hardly ever encountered.
“The service must continue to work with educational establishments to ensure that young people receive appropriate messaging that allows them to make informed healthy lifestyle choices.”
Earlier this year, Laranya Caslin, headteacher at a Lincolnshire school, estimated a quarter of her students vape regularly.
She told a Government Health and Social Care Committee that some students were leaving lessons to vape in bathrooms, triggering fire alarms and causing regular classroom evacuations.
The situation escalated to such an extent that the school had to replace smoke detectors with heat sensors to prevent alarms being triggered by students vaping during lessons and exams.
Mrs Caslin criticised the ‘sweet shop’ vape flavours, such as gummy bear and slushy, accusing vape manufacturers of targeting pre-teens with branding like ‘unicorn milk’.
According to Lincolnshire Trading Standards, 27 per cent of underage test purchases resulted in a minor being sold a vape, compared with less than 10 per cent for alcohol or cigarettes
Since May 2022, Lincolnshire Trading Standards has seized 9,455 illegal vapes from 22 raids on shops in the county.