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Don’t Get Sucked In campaign could increase youth vaping - CRE

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s proposed Don’t Get Sucked In anti-vaping campaign aimed at school children risks increasing vaping among teenagers warns behavioural scientist Dr Marewa Glover.

Responding to recent claims that vaping in schools has reached "epidemic levels" the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation plan to launch a mass media campaign next school term to "educate" teens and teachers about the "risks" of vaping.

Such a campaign should be rejected by schools, said Dr Glover.

"The campaign risks increasing curiosity about vaping among children who currently don’t smoke or vape. Globally the research suggests that curiosity is the main trigger of youth experimentation with vaping." Dr Glover said.

Dr Glover is a leading expert on vaping and has been a speaker on the topic at several international conferences this year, including a recent conference in Washington DC.

"I was shocked to hear Mitch Zeller, the Director of the United States’ Food and Drug Administration say that they had placed anti-vaping posters in every toilet of every high school in the States. That ensured that every student, even those who might never have thought about vaping, have been forced to consider vaping or not."

"These types of campaigns have a risk of backfiring, especially when they lie." Said Dr Glover.

"Youth who google vaping can easily discover that many of the anti-vaping slogans are extremely exaggerated or simply not true. There is even a genre of youth-produced parody videos mocking health authority lies about vaping. Undermining youth trust in teachers and healthcare is not a desirable outcome."

To dissuade never-smokers from taking up vaping, Dr Glover recommended restricting sales to adults aged 18 and over and conducting regular checks of retailers. Marketing of vaping products could also be restricted to ensure it is targeted only at adults and such restrictions should include stopping poorly designed anti-vaping material from being disseminated to under 18 year olds.

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