Wednesday, 22 July 2009

You’d Have To Have A Heart Of Stone…

…not to…ahh, you can probably guess:
A boy of 14 collapsed after chewing 45 sticks of nicotine gum - equivalent to 180 Marlboro Light cigarettes - in just 25 minutes.

Aiden Williams overdosed on the Nicorette gum, designed to help smokers quit the habit, after it was handed out by counsellors at his school.
D’oh!
Aiden chewed his way through 45 sticks - a total of 90mg - meaning he had the equivalent of 180 Marlboro Lights in just 25 minutes.

His mother Caroline Williams said today: ‘I couldn’t believe that this gum can be given out like this without parents knowing. It is then being passed around the playground.

‘The doctors said that he could have died and he had to be kept in for 24 hours for observation.

‘I know what my son did was stupid, but if anything it proves that these kids can’t be given responsibility for taking medication that could do serious harm.’
He’s 14, not 4. If he ‘can’t be given responsibility for medication’ at 14, when can he..?

The school is understandably caught between a rock and a hard place – continue the government-mandated anti-smoking work, or err on the side of health and safety, risk assessments and getting sued.

The government wins out:
Paul Harris, deputy head at Menzies School, said: ‘We have older teens in school who have issues with smoking and work directly with Decca, which offers support.

‘This is low-strength nicotine gum and there is nothing stopping youngsters from the age of 12 buying it over the counter.

‘Decca does not have to inform pupils’ parents about this.’
In other words, ‘If your idiot kids kill themselves with it, we’ll live with that. But OFSTED might give us a bad report if we turf DECCA out on their ear, and that would be a tragedy’…

DECCA are pretty unrepentant too:
DECCA Service manager Margaret Storrie defended the council's policy of handing out Nicorette gum to children without telling parents.

She said: 'DECCA is a confidential service engaging with young people and we do offer nicotine replacement gum to help young smokers quit.

'We always encourage young people to speak to their parents and we often organise meetings with family members so young people get the support they need.

'Aiden overdosing on gum like this is the first time such an incident has happened and we are disappointed to hear about it.

'Aiden's friend who was originally given the gum would have been told very clearly how often to use it by the worker who gave it to him.
Well, yes, I’m sure he was. But expecting teenage boys to treat with caution anything they’ve been handed by an adult, whether condoms or nicotine gum, is pretty much expecting them to sprout wings and fly, isn’t it?

This incident is the perfect storm – ‘risk-free’ teenagers meet dogmatic health service policy in a ‘parents have no rights’ school culture. Hilarity ensues.

Mrs Williams, you raised a moron. Mr Harris, you are employing morons. Ms Storrie, you too are employing morons.

When, oh when, will someone invent an anti-moron gum?

6 comments:

Saul said...

Do they really think that teenage boys want to quit smoking? these people aren't big on human nature are they?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful? Nicotine introduced to the bloodstream via cigarettes produced by eeevil tobacco companies = bad; nicotine ingested via chewing gum produced by pharmacos = okay with us as long as it weans you off the ciggies.

Billion dollar industry vs billion dollar industry. The only difference being that pharamcos are allowed to advertise their products.

James Higham said...

In all this the same thing many people are dead against keeps cropping up - the interference of government, national and local plus other do-gooder bodies in people's lives, to the detriment of family involvement in the process, i.e. parents.

By creating a nanny state, the socialists are effectively saying. "And another thing - you're now incapable of looking after your own children." Hence mentoring services, secret handing out of drugs and condoms and so on.

The state is assuming the role of the parent.

Sue said...

I´d be furious if they were giving out powerful drug filled chewing gum to my kids without my permission.

When my kids were at school and they were due to be "preached to" by somebody, we were informed by letter with an option to say "No thank you".

A CHILD of 14 is still the responsibility of the parent, they do not automatically transfer ownership to the state when they get to school.

What would have happened if he had found the nicotine gum in his mums purse and scoffed the lot?

Would she have social services in there hauling him away to be adopted on the QT?

Obsidian said...

Teenage kids will always find something stupid to do, and I'm entertained that schools are now actively helping in this.

We used to just have people sniffing glue, lighters and deodrant cans - one actually died in a spurt of Darwin-affirming stupidity.

Seeing schools actively help them amuses me somewhat.

JuliaM said...

"...these people aren't big on human nature are they?"

Only on trying to alter it...

"Billion dollar industry vs billion dollar industry."

Precisely! And yet anti-nicotine gum is presumably not created by evil capitalists, but grown organically by peasant farmers...

"..the interference of government, national and local plus other do-gooder bodies in people's lives.."

It;'s insidious, and it's not showing signs of slowing down.

"A CHILD of 14 is still the responsibility of the parent, they do not automatically transfer ownership to the state when they get to school."

THe left are all very much of the 'all your children are belong to us' mindset.

"Teenage kids will always find something stupid to do, and I'm entertained that schools are now actively helping in this."

They used to help with old fashioned chemistry lessons! Probably these are now so heavily H&S policed, they are no fun any more...