Topic 2 Signs and symptoms in current trends

It is important that teachers can recognise the signs of risky behaviour at an early stage and understand the consequences of different types of smoking/vaping trends (Antidrug Council of Cyprus, 2020); Useful video, another video

Activity

What would you do as a teacher having to face the below cases?

  • Case 1: You have noticed that when you approach Elena there is a smoke odour around, something that was not happening in the past. How do you react as a teacher?
  • Case 2: John suddenly appears angry while in general, he is a gentle teenager. What could this mean for you as a teacher? What would you do?
  • Case 3: Lately, you have noticed that some students before going for a break, they take with them various items from their bags. To what extent, should this worry you? Should you do something as a teacher?

Some early tobacco use cases might not be easy to detect since some signs might be signs for other multiple possible reasons or even because smoking has more forms than in the past (e-cigarettes, vaping, etc.). 

Some general signs for a child smoking tobacco can be smoke smell on clothing, coughing, bad breathing or shortness of breath, decreased athletic performance, stained/yellow teeth and clothing.

Also, some more practical signs might be present, such as chewing gum all the time to hide smoke odour or changes in the temper that seems calmer when the students step out of the class for a few minutes.

Regarding vaping and e-cigarettes, some signs can be the sweet smell due to the flavoured liquid used for vaping, unusual items or usual ones (the e-cigarettes can even be a USB and a pen, which make it more difficult to spot; however, they have holes), changes in thirst and taste, nosebleeds, skin damage and emotional problems or changes in the mood (irritability and frustration), cutting off caffeine to reduce showing anxiety or mood swings. Relevant Podcast.