e-cigarettes and shisha pens

E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) or shisha pens are devices that vaporise a liquid containing a solvent, chemical flavourings and/or nicotine. This vapour is then inhaled by the user.  The vaporisation is achieved by a heater element which may be powered by a disposable or re-chargeable battery.  This is all contained in either a disposable or re-usable ‘pen’ or ‘stick’.

The re-usable devices tend to be larger and are designed to be re-charged (often from a USB port) and to be re-filled with a variety of ‘e-liquids’ or ‘e-juice’ products which may contain a variety of chemicals including nicotine.

The disposable devices typically resemble a cigarette like tube with a small LED that lights when the device is sucked to activate it and start the process of heating and vaporising the liquid.

The sticks are typically formulated with sweet smelling chemicals that create fruit flavours such as strawberry, apple, peach or grape.  They are packaged in attractive brightly coloured tubes with youth appealing brand names and thus can be attractive to young people.  It is illegal, however, to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.

Because of the above and because it is possible to use e-cigarettes or shisha pens to inhale “legal highs” or cannabis derived products, the school has thus taken the view that possession or use of such items in or prior to school will be treated in the same way as the possession and use of alcohol or drugs.