“Red Tape the Vape”: Students Raising Awareness

A team of students at Garforth Academy have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness around the issues of vaping in their community and amongst teenagers.

This team have gone from strength to strength, featuring on ITV News and being crowned the Yorkshire Regional Champions for NextGenLeaders’ 2023 competition. πŸ†πŸ“°

Working with their local MP, the team are wanting to change legislations surrounding the trendy packaging, funky flavours, responsible disposal and recycling, as well as the laws surrounding purchasing and usage for under 16’s.​​​​​​​

ITV News reporter, Katharine Walker, reports on the team:

“After a survey found some teenagers were stealing vapes from bins, Year 11 students at Garforth Academy built a website to educate other pupils about the effects of vaping. With the help of charity “NextGenLeaders“, they also installed posters and amnesty boxes around the school and local community.

Joshua Cheetham, a student at Garforth Academy, said: 

“We realised that if people are so desperate to vape that they’re stealing them from bins or gutters, they must be highly addicted and it must be solved because it’s a big issue.”

Fellow Garforth Academy student Olivia Hall added:

“Something needs to be done. A lot of people from even Year 6 know vaping is happening and they’re going to fall into it, because it’s peer pressure. It’s a trendy thing, all the popular kids do it.”

E-cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes, but many are smaller than a USB drive and can be easily hidden at schools.

Vice principal Mark Newstead, of Garforth Academy in Leeds, says:

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to police as some of them “look like highlighters.”

“From speaking to colleagues nationally it is a real issue. With nicotine addiction we see things like mood swings and students unable to concentrate during lessons.”