The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) is concerned with recently circulated videos of Secondary Students in uniforms using what looks like “e-cigarettes”/ “vape pen”.
This is an issue that we have been advocating during our interventions with schools, our programmes on radio and television and also via social media, we have also started the process with various stakeholders.
Vaping is illegal for minors in Barbados, (those below 18), it is also illegal for them to use and sell tobacco products. According to a 2017 amendment to the Health Services Act of Barbados (Cap. 44), tobacco products include electronic smoking devices.
We at the NCSA continue to call on parents and guardians to monitor their children’s activities, to encourage them not be pressured by their peers. We also know that we must continue to educate our publics on this and other emerging trends, to identify gaps in the delivery of services, especially to our minors, and equip adults to better respond to these challenges.
We see the need for a national response to this and other issues, a more coordinated approach to drug demand and drug supply. This will help all stakeholders to get to the source of where the children get the devices, where do they get their time to use them, why are they using them, how did it get into the schools?