Electronic Cigarettes: Health Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th July 2022.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to The Khan review: making smoking obsolete, published on 9 June 2022, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing the recommendation to include the (a) risks of and (b) age restrictions for vaping in the school health education curriculum.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Education)

The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance includes content on drugs, as a supplement to drug education which is part of the national curriculum for science in key stages 2 and 3.

The guidance sets out that in both primary and secondary school, pupils should be taught the facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks, including smoking, alcohol use, and drug-taking. Additionally, in secondary school, pupils should be taught the associated legal and psychological risks of taking drugs.

To support schools, the department published a suite of teacher training modules and non- statutory guidance. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. This includes a module on drugs, alcohol and tobacco, which makes specific reference to e-cigarettes (vaping) and includes information on the age restrictions and laws around both legal and illegal drugs to protect young people.

The department is developing plans for monitoring implementation of RSHE over time, including measuring teacher confidence in teaching the statutory requirements, and whether additions or other changes to the curriculum will be required.

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