Community forum to tackle youth vapingJun 07, 2023
The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce will hold the first of two community forums in Coffs Harbour today (Wednesday 7 June), bringing together key partners to discuss ways to protect young people from the harms of vaping.
The forums aim to capture the perspectives of young people, community and organisational stakeholders to inform the development of a regional action plan.
Vaping taskforce spokesperson Robin Auld said NSW Health was working with NSW Police, the Department of Education and non-government organisations to deliver a coordinated and community-informed response.
“The Taskforce aims to strengthen community action in the areas of prevention and harm reduction and support regulation and compliance in relation to the sale of vaping devices on the North Coast,” Mr Auld said.
“The issue of vaping across the North Coast requires a coordinated cross-sector response to tackle it.”
The Taskforce recognises the highest users of vapes are young people and has been identified as a real problem in local communities. In 2020-2021, the NSW Population Health Survey found 32.7 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 had used a vape, and 11.1 per cent were current users.
Earlier this week, NSW Health in partnership with NSW Police seized more than $400,000 worth of illicit vapes and illicit cigarettes, as part of compliance activities on the North Coast. The operation removed nearly 8,000 vaping units from sale.
“Reducing the availability of illegal vapes is an important step in helping protect young people from the harms of vaping,” Mr Auld said.
The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce is a partnership between Mid North Coast Local Health District, North Coast Population and Public Health and Northern NSW Local Health District.
A second community forum will be held in Ballina on 20 June 2023.
Information about the harms associated with vaping is available by going to: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/vaping