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ATC SchoolTV Special Report - Vaping & e-Cigarettes

Vaping is becoming a trendy pastime that is growing in popularity across Australia, especially amongst teenagers. It is the act of inhaling a vapour created by an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. Many teenagers are succumbing to peer pressure around this risk-taking activity due to the ease of accessing vapes and being able to hide them. They are often cheaper than conventional cigarettes, making it more cost-effective and attractive to young people.

Although under 18s are not legally allowed to purchase any type of e-cigarette or vaping product in Australia, teenagers are finding ways to access them online. Australia has strict regulations in place for nicotine-containing products, and attempts are being made to regulate vaping and ban the importation of them. This week, researchers at the Australian National University, released the most comprehensive review of vaping-related health impacts to date. Emily Banks from ANU said “The evidence shows e-cigarettes carry significant harms.”

Many of the flavoured liquids associated with vaping contain not only high levels of nicotine, but other potentially harmful additives. Many of these “e-liquids” contain chemicals that are likely to be toxic, that when inhaled or vaped repeatedly, can cause severe damage to the lungs. John Hopkins Medical Centre recently published an article outlining some health risks associated with vaping including an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping in recent years.

Vaping is often marketed as being the “healthy” alternative to smoking. However, doctors strongly advise that if you do not smoke, then you should not start vaping. In a recent study, funded by Lung Foundation Australia, researchers at Curtin University tested the chemicals and toxicity of 52 flavoured e-liquids available in Australia. The research unveiled “a cocktail of chemicals which raise serious concerns about the safety of these products and their risks to the respiratory health of young people.” Most teenagers are unaware of the associated risks and potential impact vaping can have on their development and overall health and it is important for parents to share information on the potential risks of vaping with their son.

This Special Report highlights the facts around vaping and e-cigarettes and will help you explain the potential risks to your son. We hope you take time to reflect on this report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

CLICK HERE to read this SchoolTV Report. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact your son’s Formation leaders for further information or seek medical or professional advice.

CLICK HERE for the ANU report -‘E-cigarettes are harmful and addicting youth’, released this week.

Conor Finn
Dean of Formation

Lung Foundation Australia 1800 654 301 • Quitline 13 78 48 • Poisons Information Line 13 11 26 • Alcohol and Drug Foundation 1300 85 85 84