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Carlisle school bans e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes have been banned from a school in Carlisle.

Alan Mottershead photo
Alan Mottershead

Trinity headteacher Alan Mottershead decided to ban the vapour cigarettes following concerns over what could be in them – and that they could encourage younger children to take up smoking.

Mr Mottershead, backed by the Association of Headteachers, said the ban applied to both pupils and teachers and any e-cigarettes seen at the city centre site would be confiscated.

“It wasn’t a hard decision,” he said. “I had discussions with the NAHT – I am on their executive – and it didn’t take any time at all for us to recommend it for all schools”.

Mr Mottershead said there had not been a problem with e-cigarettes before the ban, with only one or two incidents at his school.

“One of the big concerns is that they make smoking “normal”,” he added. “People start thinking it’s okay and they could be a gateway to ‘real’ smoking”.

He said health officials had no idea what effect the vapourising chemicals will have.

“I think the pupils realise it makes sense,” he added. “I haven’t been in touch with any other headteachers here but I hope they don’t allow them.”

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said they did not have a policy on e-cigarettes and it was a matter for each individual school.

The ban comes after Su Sear, senior health improvement specialist with Cumbria’s public health team, voiced concerns they could encourage smoking in younger children who had grown up not seeing people smoke in public, but started to get used to seeing the vapourisers.

“Some of them look like cigarettes and I think we need to distinguish between them,” she said.

“We’ve had the smoking ban for six years now so an 11-year-old child is not used to seeing people smoke on buses or restaurants.

“But if they’re now out and they see e-cigarettes being used in these places, smoking becomes more visible again.

I think we’d almost got it ‘invisible’ but it’s creeping back in the form of e-cigarettes.”

Su was also concerned at what was in e-cigarettes.

“I think we have to start asking what they contain,” she said.

“As an aid to quitting, when licensed, that will be a step forward. We have to look at how much they may promote smoking.”

Have your say

Yeah OK, ban them etc. but what happens to those children who are caught smoking (real or not) ? If underage is it the school's responsibility or the parents!

Posted by Unconvinced on 19 February 2014 at 17:04

What a filthy disgusting habit smoking is. Can't for the life of me understand people's mentality for inhaling noxious vapours from either fags or the electronic ones. Your lungs are for breathing good old pure unadulterated Cumbrian air...Do the new electronic ones come CE certified or not, if not, why not. Have they been fully tested for long term health effects....Got to go and feed Chivers my cat, Bye for now.

Posted by Bill Bunter on 18 February 2014 at 13:30

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