E-cigarettes indeed prohibited in Flemish schools

E-cigarettes and personal vaporisers are proving to be very popular with schoolchildren. Schools have discovered that some children and teens are carrying the so-called ‘kid’s cigarette’ and are smoking them on the playground.

E-cigarettes fall under the legal ban of smoking in school, still many schools are uncertain about what to do. The Flemish institute for Health Promotion and Illness Prevention (VIGeZ) urges schools to clarify this in their regulations.

Kid’s cigarette freely available

A personal vaporiser is an electronic cigarette that looks like a cross between a cigarette and a pen. They come in many different colours and flavours and usually do not contain nicotine or tobacco.

Many schools are uncertain whether they should ban the cigarettes. This could be due to the fact that they are freely available and aren’t sold as medicine or tobacco products. They are freely available in shops and on the internet.

Smoking ban in schools

Since 1 September 2008, tobacco usage has been prohibited in schools. The legislator introduced this ban in regards to smoking tobacco or similar products. Hence, e-cigarettes, even if they don’t contain tobacco or nicotine, do fall under the same ban.

“Schools have to be strict when they spot pupils smoking e-cigarettes in or around the premises. They should also make the ban very clear in their regulations,” said Stefaan Hendrickx, tobacco prevention officer at VIGeZ. “After years of effort by the schools and the government, children shouldn’t be smoking on the playground again.”

E-cigarettes are thought to be a ‘gateway drug’, enticing young smokers to move on to the real deal after a while.