Kate Hawkesby: Something needs to be done to stop vaping at schools

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jul 2020, 9:49AM
Photo / File

Kate Hawkesby: Something needs to be done to stop vaping at schools

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jul 2020, 9:49AM

I wasn’t surprised to read how many of us are still texting and driving, a third of us, according to a new study, still do it.

And that figure is just respondents to the survey who admitted it, I’d hazard a guess that number’s even higher when you include all the people who wouldn’t admit it.

This week we’ve seen Auckland’s speed limits drop to 30 k’s an hour in the CBD, in a bid to have safer roads, but how much safer are they really, if people are still distracted behind the wheel?

As parents raising a digital generation we’ve endured a lot of self inflicted paranoia about kids and phones, kids growing up glued to screens, neck or eye issues from staring down at screens too long, the blue light problem at night robbing them of all that melatonin.

And that’s before we get to the content issues, the online bullying, and then as they get older, the fact they’re driving with their phones. It’s an extra worry our parents didn’t have when they were raising us.

But what I’m finding is that this new generation of tech savvy teens is getting smarter at sorting it out for themselves.

They understand that a lot of social media is a crock.

They know where dangers are, they get what fake news is, they see driving with a phone as about as crazy and deadly as smoking cigarettes is.

In other words, they’re probably better than us at all this.

They’re growing up wiser and smarter.

Where they are having trouble though, is with the vaping.

This not so new trend is the scourge of the modern playground.

Auckland Grammar says it’s getting worse among students, they’ve stood down 40 students over vaping at school, they’ve had about a dozen ask for help in curbing their addiction.

So the school’s pushing, along with the Cancer Society, to have new legislation pushed through on this before the election.

They’re asking the government to take the responsibility seriously, they say it’s not only a major distraction for students, but it’s also a concerning health issue.

Some of the most popular vaping products being marketed to kids are 60 percent nicotine.

Auckland Grammar’s not alone in being concerned, vaping is an issue for all schools these days so I’m not sure why the government’s dragging its heels on doing something about it.

Teens these days are by and large better than us on knowing the perils of texting and driving, yes, but too many of them still think vaping’s cool. That’s an area we do need the government to tighten legislation on.

Government continues to ignore the addictive and disruptive nature of vaping at its peril.. and sadly it's the kids who'll pay the price.