SPECIAL REPORT: Vaping

Over recent months, there has been a growing concern about the impending epidemic affecting young people in relation to the use of e-cigarettes and the trendy pastime of vaping. As this activity grows in popularity, most teenagers are unaware of the associated risks and the potential impact vaping can have on their development and overall health.

Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapour created by an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. Although vaping is often marketed as being the “healthy” alternative to smoking, doctors advise that if you do not smoke, then you should not start vaping. Although vaping products are infused with enticing flavours, many contain high levels of nicotine as well as other chemicals and additives, that when inhaled, can cause severe damage to the lungs.

Australia has strict regulations in place for nicotine-containing products and despite it being illegal to use, sell or buy nicotine for use in e-cigarettes, users are purchasing these products through other avenues. A recent Australian study of chemically flavoured liquids used in e-cigarettes which are available here for purchase over the counter, has confirmed concerns about their safety and respiratory health impact. Attempts are being made to regulate vaping and ban the importation of vape products containing nicotine. Unfortunately, manufacturers are developing vaping devices that are cheaper and easier to hide than conventional cigarettes, making it more attractive and cost-effective for impressionable young people.

For more information or support in relation to some of the issues raised in this Special Report, please contact your medical practitioner or one of the following services:
Lung Foundation Australia 1800 654 301 Quitline 13 78 48
Poisons Information Line 13 11 26 Alcohol and Drug Foundation 1300 85 85 84