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May 3, 2023

Vapes are ‘public health ticking time bomb’ for under-18s

  • MPs have heard that vaping products are being “illicitly traded” in schools.
  • In an attempt to encourage the Government to take further action on discouraging vape use among under-18s Conservative MP, Neil Hudson, has suggested that vapes could be hidden from view in shops.
  • Last month, ministers promised to crack down on the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s and are also attempting to identify ways to reduce the number of children using the products.
  • Hudson also told MPs that there have been “reports of students leaving lessons and even walking out of examinations” as they need the use of their vape.
  • Yesterday, the Independent revealed that Australia announced a ban on recreational vaping in an attempt to curb teenagers using e-cigarettes.
  • Check out our article on Youth Vaping.
  • For more please see the Independent’s website.

Snapchat is bringing ads to Spotlight and ‘My AI’

  • Snapchat is bringing ads to Spotlight and its chatbot “My AI”.
  • Snap began to test ads in Spotlight last year but are now starting to roll them out globally.
  • Sponsored ads within My AI chats are meant to be relevant to the conversation.
  • For example, a conversation about video games could point the user to links from a game retailer.
  • The chatbot can already recommend local restaurants based on Snap Map location and may provide sponsored posts from local restaurants.
  • For more please visit Engadget’s website.

UK Government’s new fraud strategy to ‘block scams at the source’

  • The UK Government’s new fraud strategy will include blocking fraudulent communications at their source, banning cold calls and delaying suspect payments.
  • It also plans to work with Ofcom to use new technology to combat number “spoofing” so fraudsters cannot impersonate legitimate UK phone numbers.
  • Devices that can be loaded with hundreds of sim cards that are controlled by a computer (“sim farms”) will also be banned and the use of mass texting services will also be reviewed.
  • The UK’s new fraud reporting centre is said to replace the current Action Fraud service will reportedly be ‘up and running within the year’.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

Sexual consent teaching in NI schools ‘not good enough’

  • The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) report has said the lack of teaching on sexual consent in schools is “not good enough.”
  • The report was largely based on responses from more than 14,500 primary and post primary pupils and 500 schools.
  • The report suggested the majority of schools teach little to nothing on LGBT issues, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Schools in Northern Ireland are required by the Department of Education to teach Relationships and Sex Education but what is taught is a matter for the school to decide.
  • The preventative curriculum has been criticised due to “inconsistent learning experiences” for many children.
  • Only 44% of schools reported they were delivering on the topic of consent to a small extent or not at all.
  • Schools were avoiding teaching pupils about sexual exploitation, domestic or sexual abuse.
  • No training and a lack confidence to teach sensitive topics was highlighted by some staff.
  • The report has expressed concern that “children could leave school without a clear, unbiased knowledge and understanding of important concepts.”
  • For more on this story, please visit the BBC News website.