Anti-vaping campaigning headteacher welcomes Government promise to close loophole
Government promises to tackle teenage vaping has been broadly welcomed by campaigning Kidderminster headteacher Matthew Carpenter.
The Baxter College principal was one of the first teachers in the country to raise the alarm about the rising use of vapes among children.
After installing vape sensors in school the principal was shocked to discover how many of the vape machines confiscated from pupils were illegal and dangerous.
Scientists found unsafe levels of lead and nickel in vapes clearly marketed towards children.
On Tuesday, the Government announced it was to close a legal loophole, which currently allows free vape samples to be handed out to children although it is illegal to sell them to under 18s.
It is part of a crackdown to curb the sale of vapes to children after the awareness campaign at Baxter College became a national issue due to the shocking findings of the tests.
Mr Carpenter said: “I’m pleased that some work has gone into thinking about how vaping might be affecting children and the need to tighten things up but we still have a long way to go and the marketing still appeals to children too much.”
The school’s anti-vaping work first hit the headlines in January following the installation of high-tech vape sensors in the student toilets.
Mr Carpenter said: “The rise in teenage vaping is alarming and the marketing and packaging is clearly aimed at young people.
“Vapes contain nicotine and students are addicted to them. The tests carried out show unsafe levels of lead, nickel and chromium in vapes bought locally by our children, which is very worrying."
The latest announcement follows the unveiling of a new enforcement drive to test illegal vapes and clampdown on their sale to children and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the marketing of vapes would be looked into.