Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 544 – Education policy [Vaping] [54425/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 544 – Education policy [Vaping] [54425/22]. (08 Nov 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

544. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the increased use of electronic cigarette products among children, particularly those of secondary school age, and the prevalence of these products in schools around the country; and if her Department intends to address the issue. [54425/22]

Norma Foley Minister for Education: The Department of Education does not have responsibility for the licensing or sale of electronic tobacco products.

Schools have a role to play in supporting their students to develop the key skills and knowledge to enable them to make informed choices when faced with a range of difficult issues, including drugs, alcohol and gambling. This is mainly done through the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme, which has a specific module on the use and misuse of a range of substances.

SPHE is mandatory in all primary schools as well as in junior cycle. It also forms part of the new mandatory ‘Well-being’ component of junior cycle. Schools are also encouraged to deliver the new SPHE programme in the senior cycle.

The SPHE course covers student decision-making skills and safety and protection. Students learn how to exercise judgement, weigh up different possibilities, examine the steps and choices that guide them towards considered decision-making, begin to understand their own rights and the rights of others, and explore decision-making. In respect of safety, students’ ability to assess the consequences of risky behaviour is developed.

The SPHE curriculum is currently being redeveloped at all stages. Further details, including details relating to consultation processes, are available on NCCA.ie.

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