Thursday, June 20, 2024

WA cracks down on vaping in schools

The Western Australian government has introduced new measures to stamp out vaping in schools.

According to a statement released on Tuesday (7 November), new school behaviour policies have been updated and will result in a loss of a student’s good standing if found in possession of a vape. This means students caught vaping will risk being unable to attend school events like balls, graduations, and other extra-curricular activities.

Other initiatives include:

  • Mandatory programs for Years 5 to 7 students designed to outline dangers of vaping before they embark on their secondary education
  • New teaching and learning resources to deliver prevention education in addition to the WA Schools Anti-vaping Toolkit resources for Years 8 to 10 introduced in June 2022
  • Education Minister to write to all parents to highlight health risks of vaping
  • A trial of vape detectors announced last year to be expanded to include up to 10 schools

“The prevalence of vapes in our community is a serious issue,” says Western Australian Education Minister Dr Tony Buti.

“The biggest misunderstanding is they are harmless compared to cigarettes – this is not true. Vapes aren’t safe and they’re contributing to a new generation of nicotine dependency.

“We’re confident these new measures, alongside other initiatives across government, will help to reduce the impact these dangerous products are having on our community particularly our children and young people.”

These efforts follow a new vaping prevention campaign, ‘Clear the Air’, that was launched by Cancer Council Western Australia late last month, aiming to educate young people on the health impacts of e-cigarette use. The Western Australian government provided $375,000 in funding to develop the campaign.

Four digital advertisements highlight to young people aged 14 to 24 years the dangers behind the “deceptive” fruity flavours in vapes.

“Research has found that e-cigarette use is socially acceptable among young people and is seen as more appealing than tobacco cigarettes due to the flavours and taste,” reads a statement.

“However, e-cigarettes can contain over 240 toxic chemicals like weed killer, cleaning products, and paint stripper, as well as nicotine.”

The ads are visible across social media channels, streaming services, and mobile apps, directing people to visit the Clear the Air website for more information and tips on how to quit.

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