School leaders, experts convene for vaping roundtable

Wednesday, 22 November, 2023

School leaders, experts convene for vaping roundtable

The growing issue of vaping in schools was discussed at a NSW Government roundtable in November.

The Vaping Roundtable heard firsthand accounts from students, teachers and principals, and evidence from health experts and researchers about vaping behaviour and how it is affecting young people.

Representatives from NSW Health, Cancer Council NSW, the Advocate for Children and Young People as well as students and primary and high school principals addressed the panel, with members of the public, independent and Catholic school sectors also represented.

The roundtable also heard about the impact vaping is having on schools, and the role the wider community plays in supporting young people.

New data shows one-third of children aged 14 to 17 have vaped or used an e-cigarette, and nine out of 10 young people found it easy to access vapes, according to University of Sydney Associate Professor Becky Freeman, who presented to the roundtable on behalf Generation Vape and Cancer Council NSW.

A number of actions were proposed, including creating a vaping guide to assist teachers and help students trying to quit, updating the curriculum so it better addresses the dangers of vaping, creating an online support platform for students and building better referral pathways between schools and community services.

“Vapes can have harmful impacts, especially on young people’s growing brains and bodies, and we will continue to crack down on retailers who illegally sell nicotine vapes,” said Ryan Park, Minister for Health.

“Ask any parent, and they will tell you that these products are pervasive. We are determined to get in front of this growing public health crisis.”

The NSW Government’s work will complement other measures introduced by the Australian Government, including the commitment to restrict the sale of vaping products.

“This is a complex issue and we need to work together as a community to tackle this serious problem,” said Prue Car, Minister for Education and Early Learning.

Image caption: Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car, NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar and the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant speak with students at the Vaping Roundtable.

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