Dear Parents and Carers,
In line with Helensvale State High School’s philosophy of ‘One Student, One Community, Many Futures’, we partner together with the community to improve student learning and wellbeing. As the use of vaping is becoming a growing concern, not only in our school, but in our broader community, it is our collective responsibility to educate and support our students whilst maintaining high standards of behaviour.
E-cigarettes, more commonly known as vapes, are increasing in popularity in our society and disturbingly among our youth. Resembling a USB, ‘e-cigs’ are battery-powered devices that deliver liquid nicotine and other substances (such as propylene glycol and flavourings) as an aerosol that is then inhaled.
Under Australian Law, Nicotine is considered a Schedule 7 poison and therefore it is illegal to: buy, possess or use liquid nicotine for vaping; for children under 18 years to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes; and to smoke on school grounds at any time.
Helensvale State High School has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for the possession and use of all illicit substances including e-cigarettes, with all matters dealt in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct which states: “Inappropriate use, possession, supply of intoxicating substances and/or utensils (including but not limited to illegal drugs or illegal drug implements, alcohol, vape pens, paint, glue, prescription medicine etc) may result in permanent exclusion from Helensvale State High School.”
One proactive measure we are making is to educate our students, providing them with the information so that they can weigh up the pros and cons of certain behaviours, allowing them to make an informed decision.
We are currently negotiating with the Queensland Police Service to provide an educational assembly to students around the legal implication of vaping.
Here is what we know so far:
• Nicotine is highly addictive and can impair adolescent brain development.
• Liquid nicotine solutions vary in concentrations (from 2%-10%). It is rapidly absorbed through the skin, and fatal toxicity can occur from exposure to just one teaspoon.
• Harmful chemicals are found in over 75% of flavoured refill liquids.
• Propylene Glycol is a solvent that reacts with many flavours, specifically vanilla, cherry and cinnamon, to create entirely new chemicals that lead to inflammation, cell death and irreversible lung damage.
• Additional information can be found here: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/atods/smoking/devices
It’s important to remember that young people may turn to substance use for many different reasons (e.g. stress, family conflict, financial concerns, relationship issues, etc.). We encourage our students to access support if they are going through a challenging time, and some of these support options may include:
• Guidance Officers
• Deputy Principals
• School Based Youth Health Nurses
• Adis (24/7 Alcohol and Drug Support) – 1800 177 833
• Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
To support the health and wellbeing of all the Helensvale State High School community we ask you to discuss the health and legal implications of vaping with your child.
Thank you for your anticipated support with this and together, let’s continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of your child.
Helensvale State High School