Wednesday, June 19, 2024

NSW vaping campaign targets youth

The NSW government has launched a new campaign reminding young people that ‘every vape is a hit to your health’.

Developed in consultation with young people and medical experts, the campaign amplifies the voices of people aged 14-24 who have experienced the harms of vaping.

The campaign also uses “powerful” advertisements to encourage young people to consider the proven health harms of vaping, such as nicotine addiction, lung damage, breathlessness, nicotine poisoning and burns from exploding vapes.

It comes as the latest NSW Population Health Survey shows current vaping among people aged 16-24 has significantly increased to 16.5% in 2021-2022, up from 4.5% two years prior.

The ‘Every vape is a hit to your health’ campaign builds on NSW Health’s successful ‘Do you know what you’re vaping?’ campaign and Vaping Toolkit and provides a range of support pathways for young people.

“Vaping is a serious issue and it’s having a significant impact on students and young people,” says NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car.

“It’s important that as we work together to tackle the scourge of vaping, we lead with an evidenced-based approach, and bring the experiences of young people to the forefront.

“This is part of our strategy to tackle vaping, particularly addressing the impact on young people.”

Government commitments

The NSW government says it’s committed to addressing the growing issue of vaping through ongoing collaboration with Commonwealth and state counterparts, including contributing to the National Vaping Working Group established by the federal government in November.

In 2023-2024, the NSW Ministry of Health will invest $25 million on tobacco and e-cigarette control in NSW. This includes an investment by Cancer Institute NSW of more than $3 million in the new vaping campaign.

An additional $2.5 million is also being invested over the next 12 months to increase services to help young people quit vaping, including a new digital platform, enhancements to the iCanQuit platform and an online learning module for youth services across the state.

This comes after the NSW government convened a roundtable last year to address the growing issue of vaping in schools.

Since then, the NSW Department of Education is continuing to update the curriculum resources, so they better address the dangers of vaping.

An online training module for school staff is also being created to have conversations with students, and webinar resources will soon be available for parents and carers.

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