The $300,000 campaign ‘Get the Facts – Vaping Toolkit’ launched by NSW Health and the Department of Education aims to spread awareness about the harmful effects of vaping.
The campaign is designed to encourage parents, carers and teachers to have conversations with young people about the long-term effects of vaping, and its effect on physical and brain development.
Recent trends indicate an increased use of e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’ amongst young Australians.
A survey revealed approximately 14% of Australian students aged 12-17 had used an e-cigarette, 32% of them were within the past month.
Many young people are unaware of the dangers of vaping masked by brightly coloured packaging and lolly-like flavours.
NSW Department of Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, urges parents to report any usage in schools to principals.
“The number of young people vaping without consideration to the effects is concerning. I encourage all parents and young people to find out more and talk about the hidden, dangerous impacts of e-cigarettes”.
Ms Mitchell, ‘Campaign to stop young people vaping’, 16 March 2022.
The NSW Government campaign highlights the dangers of vaping and raises awareness of the hidden chemicals in ‘vapes’.
“A respiratory researcher once told me that e-vaping liquids have chemicals that are similar to antifreeze… it makes it pretty obvious as to the harm it can cause to youngsters’ lungs.”
Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Minister, ‘Campaign to stop young people vaping’, 16 March 2022.
E-cigarettes can contain harmful substances found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray.
The department also warns vapes labelled as ‘nicotine-free’ can detect high nicotine levels. Students can unknowingly develop a nicotine addiction.
Evidence suggests young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes in the future.
NSW Health provides resources for parents, carers and young people to learn about the effects of vaping including tools to quit.
Most schools have actively banned e-cigarettes and many have sent letters out to parents.
There are severe penalties of up to $11,000 for individuals found selling e-cigarettes or vapes to minors. Corporations selling e-cigarettes to minors can be fined up to $55,000.