Police launch vaping awareness videos for school…


Awareness campaign to target growing vaping numbers amongst younger ages

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Younger Vaping Users growing in numbers IMAGE CREDIT: Sharon McCutcheon

Queensland police have launched a series of videos designed to urge children to “think twice” before vaping earlier this week.

Minister for Police Mark Ryan and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath joined Superintendent John Hallam to launch the awareness campaign, which aims to educate school-aged children about the health implications of vaping.

A study held by Queensland Health indicated that in 2017, 16 per cent of Queensland secondary students aged 12-17 years had used e-cigarettes, compared to 11 per cent in 2014 – with this number rising.

Male students in this age bracket were twice as likely as female students to have ever used e-cigarettes.

The two-part video series also includes information around the legislation affecting vaping, as well as health messaging supported by Queensland Health and the Lung Foundation.

Research shows that vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it is still not safe for users as these devices heat nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals to create an aerosol that is inhaled.

Minister Ryan said the videos were an important tool in educating young people to make better decisions in all aspects of their lives.

“These videos are designed to give young people additional information around not just the health impacts of vaping, but of the legal implications.’’

Minister D’Ath said young people needed to be aware that vaping could affect their lungs.

“Queensland Health warns that there are many known harms that arise from e-cigarettes and vaping and young people are amongst those at greatest risk of harm.

“At this point in time, there is insufficient evidence to support claims that e-cigarettes are safe.’’

A recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that one in ten people aged 18 years and over had used an e-cigarette or vaping device at least once with 2.2% of this age group currently using these devices consistently.

The age group of 16-24 years used these devices more than any other group, giving greater weight to the need for campaigns such as ‘Vape Truths’.

Superintendent Hallam said police had an important role to play in addressing vaping among young people and highlighted the affects it could have on the broader community.

“As police, we have the responsibility of educating our community and enforcing Queensland’s laws, including laws that impact underage vaping,” Superintendent Hallam said.

“Over the past few months, stores selling vaping accessories throughout the state have been subject to a number of break and enter offences where vaping products have been stolen and sold to underage people.

“These videos have been created to empower young people to make better decisions, giving them critical thinking skills that will contribute to minimising a range of offending behaviours and improving their health.

More information on this campaign is available here: www.vapetruths.initiatives.qld.gov.au

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