Pride Bermuda issues warning about vaping
E-cigarettes should not be in the hands of children, the head of an anti-drug abuse charity for young people said yesterday.
Truell Landy, the interim executive director at Pride Bermuda, said: “These devices are not for children and should not be sold to or used by children.
“The research on the impact of the use of vapour pens is still being conducted and initial results show that the chemicals in the devices can be potentially harmful.”
She was speaking after police said on Wednesday that vapour pens, often used as a cigarette substitute, had been sold at two public schools.
Ms Landy explained that children were “very curious and risk-takers”.
She said: “Educating our youth on the dangers of using substances before their brains have fully developed will help them make better choices.
“Pride Bermuda will continue to do the work of advocating and aiding in the prevention of substance abuse and health-risk behaviours in children.”
A spokesman for the police said that staff at Dellwood Middle School in Pembroke and CedarBridge Academy in Prospect “reported confiscating a quantity of e-cigarette-type devices that were allegedly being sold by one student at each school to their respective peers”.
It is understood that 50 pupils may have been involved at Dellwood.
The pens are designed to heat a liquid until it is vaporised and can be inhaled.
The liquid often contains nicotine, as well as flavours and other additives, although products without nicotine are also produced.
The US Surgeon General has warned products can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead, ultrafine particles that can be inhaled into the lungs.
E-cigarettes also contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease.
The devices have also been linked to the consumption of illegal drugs, including marijuana.
Police declined to comment on the number of devices seized or what the pens had been used for.
A police spokesman said: “Due to ongoing inquiries, no further comment can be made at this time.”
Wayne Caines, the national security minister, also declined to comment on the police inquiry.
However, he said: “I can say the sale of any narcotics, or cigarette-related products, are prohibited in our schools, and anyone found selling them will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure our students are in a healthy and safe school environment.”
E-cigarettes are classified as a cigarette product under the Tobacco Control Act 2015 and their sale is forbidden to anyone aged under 18.
Kenneth Caesar, the principal at CedarBridge, and Tina Duke, the principal at Dellwood, did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
A representative of the Dellwood Parent Teacher Student Association said that the matter had been dealt with by school staff. The spokesman added: “The PTA has nothing to add at this time.”
The CedarBridge Parent Teacher Student Association did not respond to a request for comment.
Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, said on Wednesday that the incidents were “very serious” and that the Department of Education had requested “detailed reports” from both schools.