LOGAN high school teachers are concerned that vapes are becoming more fashionable in school, with kids as young as 12 using them.
Logan teacher Alexis Staye said over the past six months she has had to confiscate vapes in many of her classes.
“Obviously all schools have a negative stance on vaping and smoking of any kind. It is illegal for anyone under 18, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing them in,” she said.
Miss Staye said some parents are buying vapes for their teens, as they believe it is better than smoking cigarettes.
“The older siblings and friends are also the big culprits,” she said.
“As teachers, all we can really do is educate them on the side-effects and long-term problems caused by smoking cigarettes, vapes and e-cigarettes.”
According to Cancer Council Queensland, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the established world, causing 3400 deaths each year in Queensland alone.
The health risks associated with smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes is far higher for young people, particularly under the age of 18, as they have smaller and more delicate lungs than adults and their immune systems are still developing, Cancer Council information says.
“There is no safe level of tobacco consumption, especially for our young Queenslanders,” Cancer Council state advocacy manager James Farrell said.
“Current Queensland legislation allows ‘a responsible adult’ (parent, step-parent, guardian) to supply smoking products to a child due to a simple loophole that doesn’t legally condemn the action.
“Closing this pathway to tobacco for Queensland children requires one simple legislative step – deleting sub-section 19(2) from the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act.”
Jackson Roberts from Super Vape Store said there are many reasons why vaping has become popular.
“There are fewer chemicals used, it tastes better, no bad breath or smoking smells and it doesn’t discolour your teeth like normal cigarettes,” he said.
“Companies are now marketing them as more attractive with different designs, different flavours and you can even charge them with your smartphone, which is why I think they are popular with the ‘cool kids’.
“We do advise parents and adults not to buy children or teens vaping products, but I’m sure there are parents out there doing that. In this case, they really need to do their research, because at the end of the day vaping still is an alternative to smoking and does contain nicotine and other harsh chemicals.”