Cricketer Ellyse Perry among Australian influencers leading a campaign to tell youth not to vape 

Kimberley Caines
The Nightly
2 Min Read
A group of Australian influencers that includes the likes of Ellyse Perry will be leading a campaign to tell youth not to vape. 
A group of Australian influencers that includes the likes of Ellyse Perry will be leading a campaign to tell youth not to vape.  Credit: Supplied

Australian influencers are being deployed to help stamp out vaping among teenagers.

The Federal Government is hoping to harness the power of social media by getting the personalities to create anti e-cigarette content targeting 14 to 20-year-olds.

Among them will be star cricketer Ellyse Perry, book publisher and actor Ella Watkins, comedy duo the Fairbairn Brothers, gamer Jackbuzza, Olympic diver Sam Fricker, leading voice for sustainability Lottie Dalziel, and streamer HeyImZed.

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“I’m excited to be supporting the Australian Government on the vaping education campaign and lending my voice to such a critical health issue,” Ms Perry said.

“As a professional athlete, I know that even occasional vape use would have significant consequences for both mental and physical performance on and off the field.”

Junior professional surfers Zahlia and Shyla Short are also taking part and will share their experience of helping a family member quit vaping.

One in six people aged 14-17 has used a vape in Australia, which rises to one in four in the 18-24 age group.

Health Minister Mark Butler said there was “an enormous amount of misinformation and online advertising designed to lure teenagers into vaping”.

“It’s pretty clear that teenagers don’t watch TV or listen to health ministers, much as I might like them to, which is why we’ve partnered with influencers that young people listen to,” Mr Butler said.

“(This is) from comedians, to sport stars and gamers, and everyone in between.”

Book publisher and actress Ella Watkins.
Book publisher and actress Ella Watkins. Credit: supplied/ supplied
Ellyse Perry will be one of the influencers leading the campaign to tell youth not to vape. 
Ellyse Perry will be one of the influencers leading the campaign to tell youth not to vape.  Credit: supplied/ supplied

According to research by the Cancer Council, TikTok is home to more than 18 billion posts with the hashtag #vape and Instagram has around 18,000 “vaping influencer” profiles dedicated to promoting vape.

Last year’s Federal Budget included $234 million to tighten measures in a bid to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts by bringing in plain packaging and banning flavours to make the products less attractive to users.

Since January 1, when the ban on the importation of single-use disposable vapes was introduced, the Australian Border Force and Therapeutic Goods Administration have seized more than 360,000 e-cigarettes worth almost $11 million.

Junior professional surfers Zahlia (pictured) and Shyla Short will be taking part in the campaign.
Junior professional surfers Zahlia (pictured) and Shyla Short will be taking part in the campaign. Credit: supplied/ supplied
Olympic diver Sam Fricker.
Olympic diver Sam Fricker. Credit: supplied/ supplied

The TGA seized 210,000 vapes in a single operation in February.

To put that in context, only 130,000 vapes were seized in all of last year before the import ban came into effect.

The next regulations come into force on Friday and include banning the importation of all vapes without a licence and permit, ending the personal importation scheme for vaping products, and strengthening quality and safety standards for therapeutic e-cigarettes.

After this, the Commonwealth will introduce legislation to prevent domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable vapes.

Product standards for therapeutic vapes will be strengthened later this year, which includes limiting flavours, reducing permissible nicotine concentrations and requiring pharmaceutical packaging.

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