No smoke without fire

16th February 2007 at 00:00
Science teachers who use smoke machines to demonstrate the dangers of nicotine have fallen foul of the Scottish Executive's anti-smoking legislation.

But the ban appears to have been an oversight and the executive plans to amend its legislation to create a school exemption when the law is next reviewed.

Around three-quarters of Scotland's secondaries are thought to have carried out the experiment, using a simple device made from a fitted pipe and a lit cigarette, to demonstrate the effects of smoking on the lungs. Under the new laws, teachers face prosecution if they carry out the demonstration under normal classroom conditions. The legislation allows them to do the experiment in a specially designated "smoking" laboratory or outdoors.

The Scottish Schools Equipment Research Centre argues that conducting the smoking machine test could actually be more dangerous to pupils' health if smoke was blown their way on a windy day.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today