Cancer Council NSW partners with nib foundation to help young people quit vaping
By Cancer Council NSW
Cancer Council NSW is pleased to announce a further partnership with nib foundation to scope, pilot, develop and evaluate a new online platform to help young people aged 14-24 quit vaping.
After a successful partnership to deliver a social media campaign, raising awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer in 2022, we are pleased to be partnering with nib foundation for the next three years to develop a new online platform to support young people in their goals to quit vaping.
Thanks to nib foundation’s generous support of this project, $950,000 worth of funding has been allocated from the foundation to make this project possible.
Each year, nib foundation aims to provide up to $2 million in funding to support a range of organisations through their Prevention Partnerships. nib foundation’s Prevention Partnerships support widely accessible and innovative health promotion and primary prevention initiatives that encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and reduce risk factors for chronic disease.
Partnering with a like-minded organisation like nib foundation, means Cancer Council NSW can deliver on a project that will have a widespread impact on prevention, and support the health and wellbeing of young people across Australia.
Amy Tribe, Executive Officer of nib foundation said, “Early intervention health education on this growing public health issue in Australia is crucial to reversing the uptake in vaping amongst young people. Tips, tools and facts about the risk of vaping from a trusted health expert, sitting alongside a cessation program designed to help people struggling to quit vaping, will play a key role in protecting young people’s wellbeing. This is why nib foundation is proud to partner with Cancer Council NSW, to build young people’s awareness of the harms vaping can cause and support them to quit the habit.’’
Over the past few years, vaping has dramatically increased among young Australians and as a result, there is a growing number of young people experiencing nicotine addiction and seeking support to quit vaping. Young people who vape are typically exposed to high levels of nicotine and may be more likely to experience anxiety or depression.
The risks associated with vaping have been clearly outlined in the evidence. The most comprehensive review on the health impacts of vaping identified the risks including addiction, poisoning, acute nicotine toxicity, lung injury, indoor air pollution, environmental waste and fires, and dual use with cigarette smoking. The review also found that non-smokers who vape are three times as likely to go on to smoke tobacco cigarettes as non-smokers who do not vape. Vaping products contain harmful substances, including carcinogens, as well as potentially increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lung disorders.
Currently there are no vaping cessation support services tailored to young people in Australia.
Anecdotally, the numbers of young people, parents, education providers and community youth agencies looking for tailored information and support for vaping cessation is growing. Scoping an online, multichannel vaping cessation support platform and service is the first step in addressing this important public health gap.
The platform will be designed and built directly with young people and will target those aged14-24, as well as their parents and carers. Tailored web content to support prevention of uptake and promotion of cessation will be available regardless of a young person’s vaping use status, while support services like text messaged-based interventions would focus on reaching young people who vape. Recent data analytics provided by NSW Health on their NSW specific content on vaping has shown over 100,000 unique sessions from March-June 2022. We anticipate the reach at a national level to be higher, especially when coinciding with national campaigns that have recently been announced. Given the rising associations between vaping and tobacco use, information on tobacco cessation will also be provided, as guided by the co-design process.
This three-year project will include a one-year scoping phase, as well as development and implementation of the co-designed platform and support service in years two and three. The multichannel platform will be an Australian first with the potential to support population-level changes in reversing trends in uptake and reduce use of tobacco and vaping products by young people in Australia. The platform will have a national reach with tailored information to prevent uptake of vaping and support vaping cessation for young people aged between 14-24. Tailored information will also be made available to parents, carers, and health professionals.
We are pleased that nib foundation recognise this project as being vitally important to supporting and increasing vaping cessation and have fully funded its delivery to help young people to quit vaping.
We are excited to already be in progress for this project which commenced in July 2023, and will continue until June 2025. Within the project, analysis of the cessation-related data from the Generation Vape project and a national scan of vaping cessation activity in Australia have led to the following insights:
young people’s motivation to quit vaping is growing; quitting vaping is hard but not impossible;
tailored cessation support is lacking and there is a need for a co-designed cessation platform for young people;
consistent quit messaging and communication is required;
further research is needed to understand the cessation preferences of young people in Australia;
there are a number of key stakeholders identified through the national scan that will be invited to participate in the key stakeholder interviews from government, non-government, research, and peak body agencies.
These important insights will inform the further scoping and delivery of this project.
Our thanks go out to nib foundation for their generous commitment to this work and in supporting the health of young people across Australia – it is only thanks to generous partners like nib foundation that this work is made possible.