Zero tolerance is needed to crack down on vaping among Scots kids

14 August 2023

By Daily Record

Record View says councils must make it clear to school staff that vaping in or around ­playgrounds is simply unacceptable.

The rising popularity of vaping among young Scots is an issue that continues to be ignored by too many.

Shopkeepers are supposed to be banned from selling vapes to those aged under 18 but it’s clear this rule is seldom being enforced. Vaping is also meant to be prohibited in schoolsby many local authorities but the crowds of teenagers seen puffing outside during term time shows how ineffective the rule is.

Now, the Record can reveal how vaping is not just risking the health of the ­individuals who buy them but also schools themselves. An investigation has shown how a bin in one Scots high school burst into flames after a vape battery shorted against its metal surface.

Only the actions of a quick-thinking janitor prevented the fire from spreading. The consequences could have been disastrous.

This is unlikely to have been an isolated incident. Single-use vapes are also being ­regularly flushed down school toilets and causing havoc to plumbing systems as a result.

The small metal devices are an ­environmental nuisance and can be found discarded on countless streets across the country. The Record has led the way in calling for a ban on single-use vapes but it’s clear that tougher action is also required in schools.

Councils must make it clear to school staff that vaping in or around ­playgrounds is simply unacceptable. It took years of tough enforcement to drive down the rate of cigarette smoking among young Scots and a similar approach should be taken to vaping.

It’s no secret that some GP surgeries have been struggling to hire and retain staff. Scots living in rural areas have been particularly hard hit when it comes to surgeries closing down.

But booking an appointment is already hard enough, no matter where in the country you stay. Now doctors’ leaders have warned that as many as 25 per cent of GPs could quit the profession in the next two years.

Many are nearing retirement age but others have simply had enough with the job and want out. The BMA has warned the Scottish Government must work harder to retain doctors as well as trying to recruit more.

One doctor said quitting can be all it takes for a surgery to decide to close its doors for good. The consequences of losing so many experienced professionals in such a short space of time could be ­disastrous for primary health care in Scotland.


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