Two community forums are being held to look at the issue of youth vaping. The first is taking place today in Coffs Harbour and a second forum will be held in Ballina on 20 June.
The highest users of vapes are young people and this has been identified as a real problem in local communities. In 2020–21, the NSW Population Health Survey found 32.7 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 had used a vape, and 11.1 per cent were current users.
Why take it up?
The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce is holding the forums to bring together key partners to discuss ways to protect young people from the harms of vaping.
The forums aim to capture the perspectives of young people, community and organisational stakeholders to inform the development of a regional action plan.
‘The Taskforce aims to strengthen community action in the areas of prevention and harm reduction and support regulation and compliance in relation to the sale of vaping devices on the North Coast,’ vaping taskforce spokesperson Robin Auld said.
‘The issue of vaping across the North Coast requires a coordinated cross-sector response to tackle it.’
The vaping taskforce will be working said there will be a cross sector approach and that NSW Health was working with NSW Police, the Department of Education and non-government organisations to deliver a coordinated and community-informed response.
Earlier this week, NSW Health in partnership with NSW Police seized more than $400,000 worth of illicit vapes and illicit cigarettes, as part of compliance activities on the North Coast. The operation removed nearly 8,000 vaping units from sale.
‘Reducing the availability of illegal vapes is an important step in helping protect young people from the harms of vaping,’ Mr Auld said.
Information about the harms associated with vaping is available at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/vaping.