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Tackling the Vaping Epidemic in Schools


In recent years, the issue of vaping has become a significant concern for schools across Lincolnshire. Trading Standards has identified vaping as the most pressing issue they are currently facing in schools, even worse than smoking. This report sheds light on the escalating vaping epidemic in local schools, presenting alarming statistics and highlighting the urgent need for action.

Alarming Statistics

Data from Lincolnshire Trading Standards for the academic year 2022-2023 reveals that out of 61 tobacco-related exclusions in Lincolnshire schools, 28 percent (17) were due to vaping. However, it is important to note that the actual number is likely higher due to the categorization of some exclusions as tobacco-related and others as drug-related. As a response, schools have been instructed to specify if a tobacco-related exclusion involves vaping, aiming for a more accurate representation of the issue.

Proactive Measures by the Council

Recognizing the severity of the problem, Lincolnshire County Council has taken proactive measures to address the vaping epidemic. They have conducted workshops and sent out hundreds of letters to businesses, educating them about the laws surrounding the sale of vapes. By raising awareness among local businesses, the council hopes to curb the availability of vapes to underage students.

Trading Standards has also been actively engaged in educating the younger generation about the dangers of vaping. They have conducted workshops in schools, reaching over 1,000 pupils so far. The report emphasizes the importance of working with educational establishments to ensure that young people receive appropriate messaging, enabling them to make informed and healthy lifestyle choices.

Testimonials from Headteachers

Laranya Caslin, the headteacher at St George's Academy in Sleaford, estimates that up to a quarter of her students vape regularly. In her testimony to the Government Health and Social Care Committee, she shared concerning incidents where students would leave lessons to vape in bathrooms, triggering fire alarms and causing disruptions. Mrs. Caslin highlighted an incident where a student suspected of dealing with teen addicts was found with five e-cigarettes containing nine toxic chemicals. She expressed her worry about students unknowingly consuming vape products that contain harmful substances, putting them at greater risk.

The situation became so severe that the school had to replace smoke detectors with heat sensors in toilets to prevent false alarms triggered by students vaping. Mrs. Caslin criticized the appealing flavors of vapes, such as gummy bear and slushy, and accused vape manufacturers of targeting pre-teens with branding like 'unicorn milk.'

Underage Sales and Seizures

According to Lincolnshire Trading Standards, underage test purchases revealed that 27 percent of minors were able to purchase vapes, compared to less than 10 percent for alcohol or cigarettes. While this figure is lower than the England average of around 33 percent for vapes, it remains a concerning statistic.

Since May 2022, Lincolnshire Trading Standards has conducted 22 raids on shops in the county, resulting in the seizure of 9,455 illegal vapes. These efforts aim to disrupt the illegal market and protect young people from accessing harmful vape products.


The vaping epidemic in Lincolnshire schools has reached alarming levels, with Trading Standards identifying it as the most pressing issue they currently face. The report's findings highlight the urgent need for action to protect students from the dangers of vaping. The council's proactive measures, including workshops and educating businesses, are steps in the right direction. Collaboration between Trading Standards and educational establishments is crucial to ensure that young people receive the necessary information to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

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