Cancer Council commends NSW Government for taking action on teen vaping
By Cancer Council NSW
Cancer Council NSW have commended NSW Health’s launch of the ‘Get the facts – Vaping Toolkit’. The new campaign is aimed at secondary students, reminding parents, carers, young people and teachers vaping is not safe and can have harmful, long-term effects to the physical and brain development of young people.
This toolkit of resources aims to provide a centralised location of evidence-based information that parents, teachers and schools, and young people can access to educate themselves on the dangers of vaping, and combat views that vaping is “harmless.”
The charity has been in frequent contact with the NSW education sector, teachers and parents of young people who have expressed growing concerns about vaping.
Cancer Council NSW’s Tobacco Control Special Projects Lead, Emily Jenkinson says, “It is great to see the Government prioritising and acting on this issue. But while the launch of the ‘Get the facts – Vaping Toolkit’ is a positive step in raising awareness and educating people, we know more needs to be done to curb young people’s access to vapes, protect their health and prevent a new generation of smokers.”
Cancer Council NSW is strongly advocating to phase out the retail sale of all vaping products, whether they are labelled as containing nicotine or not.
“We look forward to working alongside NSW Government on a comprehensive approach, involving stronger policy, monitoring and enforcement, and education to address the issue of vaping among young people.
“We need to educate everyone about the harms of e-cigarettes and the alarming pace at which young people are increasingly at risk of both direct vaping harms and smoking uptake associated with vaping. This includes community leaders and policy makers,” Ms Jenkinson continues.
As it stands, the e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’ should only be available to individuals with a valid doctor’s prescription who feel they will help them quit smoking, yet most users are young people. Despite access without medical authority being illegal, young people are easily accessing these products from retailers and online entrepreneurs.
“E-cigarettes are clearly targeted at young people and more needs to be done to protect them. What other harmful prescription-only poison comes in gimmicky sweet flavours and colourful packaging to entice young people and is readily available over the counter or via the internet with no checks or controls?” Ms Jenkinson concludes.