Out of the more than 7,350 teens across NSW and SA, 25% use vapes or have at least tried vaping, research shows. In recent years, schools have observed an alarming rise in youth vaping, leading to increased concerns about the true impact these devices are having on their students’ respiratory health.
To address this issue, principals, students, health experts, and other key stakeholders will soon converge at the NSW Government’s Vaping Roundtable on 16 November.
Those invited to the roundtable include NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, Manager of the Cancer Council NSW’s Tobacco Control Unit Alecia Brooks, University of Sydney School of Public Health Associate Professor Becky Freeman, leaders from the NSW Department of Education, along with the NSW Teachers Federation, NSW P & C Federation and the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People.
A number of NSW public, independent and Catholic primary and secondary school principals have also been invited to the roundtable to discuss their experiences of dealing with vaping and vape-related incidents in their schools.
“We’re committed to addressing the prevalence of vaping in NSW schools. The evidence suggests that vaping is now becoming a gateway for an increase in smoking rates in young people,” NSW Premier Chris Minns said.
“This is a way to hear directly from schools, health expers and other key stakeholders on how we can begin to address this serious health issue in our schools.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said many principals, teachers, parents and schools are struggling with the growing issue of vaping, and how best to deal with it.
“Vaping is a community-wide issue, and the Minns Labor Government is committed to addressing it with an evidenced-based approached,” Car said.
“It is important we take on board what we are hearing form health experts, and we listen to what our teachers and principals are telling us.”
Minister for Health and Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park said the Minns Labor Government is
“committed to doing all it can” to protect NSW students from the dangers posed by vaping.
“We know the number of young people vaping is growing, and it’s important we move ahead with an evidenced-based measures to tackle this concerning issue,” Park said.
“It’s important we take the time to consult with experts as we formulate the best step forward as we look to curb the issue of vaping within our schools.”