Primary school kids in UK caught with e-cigs; Is the vaping industry to blame?

The vaping industry is constantly under fire on multiple fronts, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and numerous anti-tobacco groups from around the globe.  But sometimes the vaping community can be its own worst enemy.

Last week in the UK, news reports began surfacing of primary school kids being threatened with expulsion for bringing e-cigs to school.  One school official, Claire Holgate or Lowerhouse Junior School in Burnley, made headline after sending a letter home to all parents warning of an immediate crackdown on these types of infractions.

“Pupils found in possession of, or bringing (electronic cigarettes) into school may be excluded…It is incredibly concerning. Having dangerous and illegal (for under 18s) products on site put our children and staff at risk. Children need to be aware they are not toys.”

Unfortunately, Claire Holgate has a valid argument.

Since electronic cigarettes have grown in popularity as a smoking cessation tool in recent years, many in the vaping community have spent a great deal of time, energy, and money accusing everyone from Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and corrupt politicians of trying to eradicate the vaping industry for their own personal, professional, and financial gain.

Vapers often angrily take to social media every time a new article or “research study” is posted online claiming that e-cigs are a gateway to smoking.  Meanwhile, vaping advocacy groups are quick to complain when the authors simultaneously fail to give credit for the life-saving abilities that vaping technology provides.

When many of these studies are also found to be funded by the CDC, the FDA, or the WHO, the vaping community often revolts by accusing these institutions of manipulating the findings.  And in many cases, this is a very fair accusation.

But when kids show up to class with e-cigs and vaping devices in their backpacks, the vaping community needs to take notice.

Negative news stories like these only fan the flames of public disgust against the vaping industry.  In the case of the recent backlash in the UK, the children are reported to be of pre-teen age.  The Sun newspaper is even alleging that some of the youthful culprits are as young as 5-years old.

No self-respecting vape shop owner would dare sell e-cigs and vaping technology to a child of such a young age.  So, where did the children get the e-cigs in the first place?

Are the parents to blame?  Are prepubescent children secretly purchasing vaping products online? Are the vape shops somehow responsible?  Or are everyday convenience stores and other more conventional vendors failing to police the purchases of these types of products?

Most will agree that the vaping community is not comprised of pedophiliac e-cig pushers trying to hook the global youth on vaping.  Quite the contrary.  Most vapers would never wish smoking addiction on their worst enemies.  But when pre-adolescent children are caught bringing electronic cigarettes to school, even if those children attend school in another country, it may be time for the vaping community to take a deeper look within.  Something is wrong.

Article Credit: Matt Rowland

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