A secondary school says it plans to use a sniffer dog to deter pupils from taking vapes in.
City of Norwich School says a "passive deterrence dog" will be taken around the school one day in February.
A spokesperson said it was part of a range of measures to combat the "negative impact of vapes and other prohibited substances".
On Monday, the prime minister announced a ban on disposable vapes to help tackle the growing number of young people taking up the habit.
The spokesperson for City of Norwich School, which is run by the Ormiston Academies Trust, said: "While we do not currently have an issue with this [vaping] at the school, we are aware this is a rising challenge within society, and therefore want to take proactive steps to help counter and deter this.
"The organisation that is supporting this [sniffer dog] has significant experience delivering this service in schools."
The school said other educational measures being taken to deter children from vaping included holding specialist assemblies and signposting pupils in need of additional support.
In the UK, it is already illegal to sell vapes to anyone under 18, but disposable products, often sold in smaller, more colourful packaging than refillable ones, are a "key driver behind the alarming rise in youth vaping", the government has said.
Figures from the Action on Smoking and Health charity suggest 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds regularly or occasionally vape, up from 4.1% in 2020.
The vapour inhaled contains a small amount of chemicals, including the addictive substance nicotine, and doctors say vaping may cause long-term damage to young people’s lungs, hearts and brains.
More research is needed to pin down exactly what the health effects are, experts say.
A spokesperson for City of Norwich School said a therapy dog was already used at the school to support pupils with mental wellbeing, and that "adaptions" would be made for anyone with a fear of dogs.
Norfolk County Council, which has a responsibility for schools overall, but does not run City of Norwich, said: "If schools require any bespoke support and guidance, or have a child or young person that is vaping, we are happy to help."
The council said its "thematic toolkit" on vaping could also be accessed free of charge.
Title: City of Norwich School to use sniffer dog to stop vaping
Source: BBC – Homepage
Date: February 5, 2024 at 01:52PM