26 September 2023

High schools bringing vapes to the ground

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Every State Government high school is to display posters showing the harmful substances found in vapes, all part of a new campaign to curb the usage of vaping among young people.

SA Health said it was working with the Department for Education on a range of initiatives for schools, including information for students, teachers and parents and carers on the harms of vaping and the available supports.

It said that all public schools had received copies of fact sheets for students, parents and families as well as access to newly funded vaping education programs.

According to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, the campaign comes as the latest data from Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) reveal a significant increase in vape-use among young people.

Mr Picton said the data showed the percentage of 15 to 29-year-olds using e-cigarettes (daily, weekly, or less than weekly) increasing to 7.8 per cent in 2022 from 1.1 per cent in 2017.

“The uptake of vaping among children and young people is deeply concerning,” Mr Picton said.

“I hope this campaign helps them realise the dangers involved,” he said.

“That’s why I recently announced a series of proposed new laws to crack down on where people can vape and smoke and tougher penalties for those selling to children,” he said.

Mr Picton said that working together across Government, schools and the community would give the best chance at beating the ‘vaping epidemic’.

The State’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier said the campaign would ensure parents, carers and students knew the facts about vaping and the risks that come with it.

“This education campaign will give parents, carers, and teachers the tools they need to inform and advise young people on the risks of vaping,” Professor Spurrier said.

“We know that the nicotine in one vape can equal 50 cigarettes or even higher,” she said.

“Nicotine is highly addictive, and children with a nicotine dependency may have difficulty concentrating in class, sleeping, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, frustration, anger, and strong cravings to relieve symptoms with repeat nicotine exposure.”

SA Health said the campaign followed the Vaping Action Plan introduced in schools across the State in November last year.

More information about the vaping dangers campaign can be access on the SA Health website at this PS New link.

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