School principals say they will prioritise vaping concerns

By Diarmaid Doherty

SECONDARY schools in Donegal will aim to prioritise the growing problem of vaping among pupils once the new school year resumes in September, a meeting of Donegal ETB has been told.

It comes after principals of Donegal ETB secondary schools were consulted on the worrying trends of vaping among young people in the county.


Board members had raised their concerns over the increasing numbers of children who are becoming addicted to e-cigarettes and vaping products.

At last Monday’s meeting of Donegal ETB, Director of Schools, Martin Gormley, said all schools have reported an increase in vaping among pupils.

“Unfortunately we don’t actually know enough about vaping and the long term impact it will have as people get older,” he said.

“We’d like to address this through education so that we can inform young people of the potential side effects.”

He said e-cigarettes are very well marketed and because of the colours and flavours involved, they clearly target young people.

“It seems to be the cool thing to be vaping,” he said.

“The school principals have taken it upon themselves to deal with this and it will be a priority for the new school year.”


When it came to pupils smoking cigarettes, Mr Gormley said schools had made significant progress on that front.

“There are less people out smoking behind the sheds, if you like,” he said.

“But vaping has definitely seen an increase.”

Concerns over vaping were initially raised at the last board meeting by Chairman Cllr Michael McBride.

He said it was good to have discussions on the issue and suggested Donegal ETB should write to both the Minister for Education and Minister for Health to highlight the board’s concerns.

Cllr Martin Harley, a publican in Ballybofey, told the meeting that he could also report a notable increase in the number of people using e-cigarettes and vaping products.

He said some customers in his pub see it as a way to avoid having to go outside for a cigarette.

“We have to see the results as to what the dangers are,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t want to have to wait 40-50 years before people realise the harm that e-cigarettes might cause.

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