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The alarming truth of nicotine in schools: Mother discovers sixteen vape pens in the teen’s bedroom

Vaping is the new smoking in the playground. If you are a parent or other carer of a child in elementary or high school, this is scarcely major news. Vapes are being discovered by parents all throughout the nation in bedroom drawers, school bags, pencil cases, and beneath mattresses. It’s really concerning.

When my friend cleaned her daughter’s room, she was shocked to find sixteen vape pens in her bedroom. A minimum of 250 puffs per 50 grammes of vape means that 4000 puffs of who knows what are entering her youthful, healthy lungs. It is therefore understandable why Federal Health Minister Mark Butler declared vaping to be “the number one behavioural issue in high schools” in May of last year.
Not just teens are affected. Subtly, vaping is making its way into elementary schools. More than a third of Australian primary school teachers and staff report that some of their students vape, according to research from the George Institute for Global Health Australia. One of the study’s authors, Professor Simone Pettigrew, stated, “Our study shows some concerning trends in e-cigarette use in Australian schools, particularly primary schools, that need to be nipped in the bud to prevent future harm.”

But when vapes, or e-cigarettes as we should all factually refer to them, come in names like Candy King, Cookie Crunch with Cornflakes, and Slush Puppy, and are made to resemble highlighter pens, it’s easy to see the appeal to children. You’ve discovered your market if you can add that they taste like unicorn poop, fruit loops, lemonade, strawberry kisses, and chocolate milk.
Children inhaling a “mixture of chemicals and nicotine”

Chemical flavouring agents are one of Professor Chapman’s other main concerns. “If a young person bought a mango vape, they’d probably imagine real juice from a great vat of mangoes, in the vape,” he stated.

But what they’re actually inhaling is a concoction of chemicals, flavourings, and nicotine—as well as the liquid that holds the nicotine, propylene glycol.

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