More than a third of Australian primary school teachers and staff say some of their students vape, an alarming new study into e-cigarettes’ in schools has revealed.
A massive 84 per cent of teachers and staff working at high schools say some of their students use e-cigarettes, according to the George Institute for Global Health research.
The study, which has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal, surveyed 196 Australian teachers and staff online to investigate reports that vaping is increasing among primary school students.
One of the authors, Professor Simone Pettigrew, said the results discovered were alarming.
“Our study shows some concerning trends in e-cigarette use in Australian schools – particularly primary schools – that need to be nipped in the bud to prevent future harm,” she said.
“Our study suggests many Australian students can readily access e-cigarettes and that vaping in schools is becoming more prevalent, including in primary schools.
Half of the teachers and school staff reported noticing an increase in students vaping in the past two years, while 78 per cent of the teachers and staff said they were either concerned or very concerned about the rise in students vaping.
The report found that primary school students tended to get e-cigarettes from their siblings or to take them from home without permission, according to the teachers and staff.
READ MORE: Sydney school worker charged for faking her COVID-19 vaccination status
Have you got a story? Contact Serena at Serena.Seyfort@nine.com.au
“Secondary school aged children were reported to be more likely to get someone else to buy for them, receive them from a friend aged over 18 or via the Internet,” Professor Pettigrew said.
While there appears to have been an increase in vapes being used at school, only one-third of teachers and staff surveyed reported their schools had a vaping policy or provided vaping-prevention education for students.
Professor Pettigrew said more needed to be done to stop students vaping.
“School staff need greater support to address student e-cigarette use and prevent the negative consequences associated with vaping by children at school and beyond,” she added.
“But it’s not just a problem for schools – communities and governments also need to take note of this growing trend and take steps to protect young people from vaping harms.”
Of the teachers and staff surveyed, 57 per cent were from New South Wales or Victoria, while 28 per cent were from schools outside metropolitan areas.
Leave a Reply