Australia to push anti-smoking, vaping ads in campaign

Tess Ikonomou
AAP
2 Min Read
A new public health campaign will target the estimated three million Australians who vape or smoke. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)
A new public health campaign will target the estimated three million Australians who vape or smoke. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

TikTok will be used as part of a public health campaign, in a fresh push to encourage millions of Australians to quit vaping and smoking.

Health Minister Mark Butler will launch the $63 million “give up for good” advertising blitz on Monday, targeting the harmful impacts of vaping for the first time, and the use of cigarettes in almost a decade.

The campaign will focus on four key groups including young people who vape, adults who vape, adults who smoke and Indigenous adults who smoke.

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Support services helping people quit will also be expanded.

The ads will run across TV, social media, radio, cinema among other places until December.

More than three million people vaped or smoked in 2022.

The prevalence of vaping, particularly in young people, has skyrocketed causing alarm among public health officials.

For teenagers between 14 and 17 years, 9.7 per cent said they vaped daily, a five-fold increase from 2019.

About half of people aged 18-24 reported having used e-cigarettes at least once, almost double the 26 per cent in 2019.

Tobacco use remains Australia’s leading cause of preventable death and disability, with about 50 people dying every day from related causes.

Mr Butler said what started as an occasional thing could turn into a life-long habit, but it was never too late to quit.

Government legislation to prevent the domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic vapes is before the parliament.

“All senators now have the once-in-a-generation opportunity and responsibility to act to safeguard the health of young Australians for generations to come,” Mr Butler said.

Influencer content, which was the first phase of the anti-vaping youth campaign, has racked up almost eight million views.

Quit Director Rachael Andersen said the organisation was there to help anyone give up vaping or smoking.

“We want to remind people they’re not alone in giving up for good,” she said.

“So whether it’s your first attempt to quit, or your tenth, we’re here to support you.”

Australia Council of State Schools Organisations President Damien Ellwood backed the resources being made available for families and schools to tackle the problem.

“Through education, regulation, and accessible cessation services, the government is making significant strides in addressing the vaping crisis among young Australians,” he said.

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