Electronic Cigarettes: Health Education

Department for Education written question – answered at on 21 May 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to educate young people on the potential health impacts of (a) vaping and (b) nicotine pouches.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

The department has included a specific reference to the dangers of e-cigarettes in the amended relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance, which was published for consultation on 16 May 2024. On 1 June 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced an intervention which will take steps to prevent children obtaining e-cigarettes illegally.

The current RSHE statutory guidance, which sets out the topics the subjects should cover, already states that in primary and secondary school, pupils should be taught the facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks. This includes smoking, alcohol use and drug taking, as well as supplements drug education which is part of the National Curriculum for Key Stages 2 and 3 science.

To support schools to deliver this content effectively, the department published a suite of teacher training modules, including on drugs, alcohol and tobacco, which makes specific reference to e-cigarettes.

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