E-Cigarettes and Vaping
8th September 2021
What is vaping?
Vaping is the inhaling of a vapour created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or another vaping device. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that have cartridges filled with liquid. The liquid is heated into a vapour, hence the name ‘vaping’. Substances that can be vaped include nicotine, nicotine-free ‘e-liquids’ and other drugs such as THC (cannabis). The College takes this issue very seriously due to both known and unknown negative health effects of these behaviours. Students at MacKillop are taught about alcohol and other drugs though the Health curriculum, as well as through the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing programs.
E-cigarettes, the law and College rules
The selling of vapes and e-cigarettes to people under 18 years of age is illegal. The vape device, any e-cigarette and any accessories associated with the misuse of inhalants and solvents are prohibited at MacKillop Catholic College at all times, including off-site when wearing the College uniform or engaging in College sanctioned events. The position of the College on these types of behaviours must be clearly understood. Vaping, selling vapes, or being in possession of any product used to vape will result in a suspension, and potential termination of enrolment for students who breach our community standards. Importantly, students who are in the company of others who misuse inhalants/solvents will be regarded as equally responsible by aiding and abetting those who are participating.
What are the effects of e-cigarettes?
The possible immediate and long-term effects of e-cigarettes are listed in the table below.
|Mouth and airway irritation||Dependence|
|Relaxation||Respiratory (breathing) problems|
|Persistent coughing||Harm to the developing adolescent brain|
|Nausea||Permanent lung damage due to e-cigarette or vaping products|
|Vomiting||Death due to lung damage|
|Poison from e-cigarette liquid (if swallowed)|
|E-cigarette overheating or exploding|
Common e-cigarette myths
MYTH: E-cigarettes and vaping are harmless.
E-cigarettes do not generate smoke in the same way regular cigarettes do so they might seem safer. However, many of the chemicals in the ‘flavoured’ e-liquids have the potential to negatively impact the health of users and others inhaling the vapour. Additionally, many people order e-cigarettes online from overseas, in which case product labelling is not regulated. This means that products sold as ’nicotine-free’ may actually contain nicotine.
MYTH: There is no link between e-cigarettes use and starting smoking regular cigarettes.
Evidence shows it is common for young people who use e-cigarettes to later on begin smoking cigarettes. E-cigarette use familiarises users to traditional smoking behaviours such as inhalation, exhalation, and even holding a cigarette. This means that even if young people use e-cigarettes without the nicotine, the smoking-related behaviours they pick up make it more likely they will transition to cigarette smoking.