A SCHOOL has banned e-cigarettes over concerns they are becoming fashionable.
Norden High School has barred the items from school grounds after seeing a rise in their use.
Electronic cigarettes mimic the effects of real cigarettes, producing a vapour that is free of some of most damaging substances, such as tar.
The vapour does often, however, contain nicotine, the addictive ‘hit’ in cigarette smoke.
Tim Mitchell, head at the Rishton School, said the items were being bought and used as a fashion statement in all year groups. He also warned parents not to be ‘hoodwinked’ into viewing them as harmless.
He said: “Ordinary smoking has always been a problem in schools but recently we have seen a steep rise in the use of the e-cigarette. When we quiz their parents about them they believe an e-cigarette will stop them smoking ordinary ones.
“My reply is that children shouldn’t be smoking any kind of cigarette. They should not be hoodwinked. There are also parents who are shocked and horrified. However these cigarettes are easier to hide, as there aren’t vast clouds of smoke”.
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He added that the use of the cigarettes has been seen across all ages ranges within the school.
He added: “They have them in all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours and they’ve become a fashion accessory.
“We are seeing them take off in every year group which is a real worry.”
Letters have been sent to parents saying use of e-cigarettes will be treated the same as real tobacco.
One letter sent by the school reads: “Any student with an electronic cigarette will have this item confiscated as they would with regard to any actual cigarettes and parents will be contacted accordingly. Please can you support us in this in order that we can best meet the health and well-being needs of all students.”
In January the government announced Under-18s in England would be banned from buying e-cigarettes.
The Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association has also said e-cigarettes are not meant for under-18s.