Healthy Communities - Reducing Tobacco (and e-cigarette) Related Harm
What is tobacco and vaping
Tobacco use (‘smoking’) includes cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco products and any other way of accessing tobacco. Smoking is the biggest avoidable cause of disease and death in Australia. In Victoria, smoking claims about 4,400 lives each year. In our region, one in five people smoke with some areas as high as one in three.
Vaping refers to the use of small, battery-operated devices (‘e-cigarettes’) that heat a liquid to produce a vapour, which is then inhaled. Most e-cigarettes (‘vapes’) contain nicotine that can have much higher levels of consumption than cigarettes. Nicotine is very addictive and has risks on brain development, and linked to a number of cancers (Yuan et al J Physiol. 2015).
All vape liquids contain a mixture of harmful chemicals including arsenic, lead, volatile organic compounds found in paint and cleaning products and ultra-fine particles harmful to lungs (Alcohol and Drug Foundation. 2023. Online). To make vapes more appealing to young people, companies make their products appear cool or fun, and create a wide range of sweet flavours (Greenhalgh, EM, & Scollo, MM. 18.9 Influences on the uptake of e-cigarettes. 2023).
What are we doing?
The Healthy Communities Unit works to prevent smoking and vaping, and encourage people who are dependent on nicotine to get help
Give Smoking and Vaping Away campaign
The Healthy Communities Unit has developed a public campaign to help smokers and vapers quit. We are applying a mental health lens to understand smoking and vaping behaviours. We are producing messages that encourage action at whatever stage of the quitting process people are ready for, in a non-judgemental, supportive environment.
Working with young people
Barwon Health is working with community organisations, schools and services to understand why young people in our region are taking up vaping. We discuss what we can do together to help those that have found themselves addicted, and prevent more young people from taking up vaping.
Barwon Health and a local secondary school are working to help students come up with messages needed to inform their peers about dangers of vaping.
Free webinar - Tuesday 30 May 2023
Join us at 12:30pm on Tuesday 30 May for a FREE live presentation to learn more about young people and vaping.
Many workers tell us they smoke or vape to relieve their stress. But, cigarettes and vaping can cause anxiety symptoms or make them worse.
We have developed FREE resources for workplaces to create smoke and vape free environments and to encourage their workers to seek support to quit smoking and vaping. We have two sticker options (20cm x 15cm) and an A3 poster available.
Also available is a social media toolkit. Complete with written content and images, the toolkit includes key messages:
- Include vaping in the conversation
- Your mental health matters
- Friendship is caring enough to say something
- Someone can help you quit
Use the toolkit within your workplace communication platforms to mark World No Tobacco Day 2023 on Wednesday 31 May and help create a healthier workplace for all staff.
If your workplace needs individual support developing a program to reduce smoking and vaping for workers, contact our Workplace Health team.
Last Modified: Tuesday, 23 May 2023