Vaping has become an increasing problem for many Australian schools. Unlike other alcohol and other drug issues, vaping has been brought onto school grounds with devices being bought, sold and used in bathrooms and in some cases, classrooms.

As a result, schools have needed to develop a range of policies and programs to:

  • prevent devices being brought onto, as well as sold and used on school grounds
  • provide prevention messages to students prior to experimentation
  • provide messages regarding potential harms to those vaping
  • provide assistance to students and their families who have developed nicotine dependence as a result of vaping

It is important that a ‘whole school’ approach is adopted. As well as vaping prevention lessons being provided to students, all staff should be provided with basic information on the issue. At the same time it is vital that information is disseminated to parents, particularly in regard to the policies and procedures dealing with vaping incidents that have been developed.

To assist schools in this complex area DARTA has developed a series of resources that provide up-to-date and accurate information on vaping and the use of e-cigarettes for students, teachers and parents. These are provided below:

Fact Sheet for Teachers

This resources answers some of the questions that teachers may have around e-cigarettes and vaping. These include ‘Do we have a ‘teen vaping epidemic’? and ‘What about young people, vaping and the law?’.

Fact Sheet for Young People

Using a series of FAQs basic information is provided on vaping, including answers to ‘Is vaping safe?’ and ‘Is vaping safer than smoking?’

Information Sheet for Teachers

Developed for specialist health teachers, this resource provides information on the use of these devices, as well as how vaping can fit into existing tobacco prevention programs. It also suggests some key questions students should consider when discussing vaping.

Vaping Resources for Schools

A list of websites and online resources, with accompanying links, developed to assist schools in the area of e-cigarettes and vaping. Some of these provide detailed programs of work that include lessons plans and PPT presentations, while others contain material that can be used to stimulate classroom discussion.

Scenario Activities

Using a ‘strengths-based’ approach these resources use two vaping scenarios to stimulate classroom discussion. A series of accompanying activities for each of the scenarios have been developed, providing students with the opportunity to develop skills such as identifying risks, critical thinking, decision-making and challenging misinformation.

‘Doing Drugs’ Podcast

‘Vaping: Sorting out ‘fact from fiction’ for parents struggling with the issue’ is the title of this episode of Paul Dillon’s podcast for parents. Providing accurate information on the topic he also offers some practical suggestions and advice as to what parents can do if they discover their child is vaping.

Looking for information or support services on alcohol or drugs?

If you or a friend or family member needs assistance in this area, Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) are available in every state and territory. Each of these are each staffed by trained professionals who can help with your query and provide confidential advice or refer you to an appropriate service in your area.

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