Susan Dunn, mother of a 14 year old school boy Mason Dunn, has complained to Kearsley Academy in greater Manchester about the confiscation of her son’s e-cigarette, saying he was using the device in an effort to stop his ten a day smoking habit.
We’ve tried everything
Ms Dunn, from Bolton says her son started to smoke at the age of 12 following his father’s death and the family had bought him the device last year to encourage him to cut down and eventually stop smoking. She says she has explained the situation to Mason’s teachers and stressed that he would not use it in the open nor in view of the younger children. She says although she “is not happy” about her son smoking, they have tried everything to get him to stop, including attendances at his GP and patches, but the most successful method to date has been the e-cigarette.
Returned home in a terrible state
Ms Dunn claims her son returned home from school in a terrible state with nicotine withdrawal and believes if vaping helps “prevent people from developing cancer” then the e-cigarette should be allowed. Since using the device, Mason says he managed to stop smoking cigarettes but after returning to school he has taken the habit back up and claims he feels like the school “don’t want him to stop smoking.”
Against school policy
Suzanne Pountain, the school’s principal, has forbidden its use and states that not only does the school operate a no-smoking policy it also has a “duty of care” to discourage its pupils from smoking. Kearsley Academy, which has an Ofsted rating as ‘good, has 487 students where 58 per cent achieve A* – C grades. Ms Pountain says that they are a healthy school and encourage students to make healthy choices and lead healthy lifestyles and offer students access to the school nurse if necessary for cessation programmes. She confirmed that Mason has been referred to the school nurse on several occasions and that they will continue to support Mason but it will be within their guidelines and policy. The e-cigarette has since been returned to Mason’s mother.
New legislation will ban under 18’s
Although under current legislation there are no restrictions to purchasing e-cigarettes, a new policy from 1st October 2015 will make it illegal for any retailer to sell to the under 18’s.