Marking World No Tobacco Day, NSW Health is congratulating tobacco smokers for continuing to say "no" and is encouraging people to take the same stance on nicotine filled vapes.
A 2020 NSW Population Health Survey shows daily tobacco smoking rates have declined to 9.2 per cent of NSW adults aged over 16 years, compared with 11.2 per cent in 2019.
Director of Public Health Programs Carolyn Murray said the data from the survey shows “the long-term trend of declining daily smoking rates over the past decade from 12.8 per cent in 2010.”
“However, the latest data shows that use of electronic cigarettes continues to increase, particularly among young people, and we strongly urge people to quit vaping as they may increase the risk of developing cancer and respiratory diseases,” said Ms Murray.
In 2019-2020, 21.4 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds had used an e-cigarette, compared with 15.6 per cent in 2014-2015. In 2019-2020, 4.5 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds were current users of e-cigarettes, compared with 1.7 per cent in 2014-2015.
School children as young as 11 have been found with nicotine vapes, with many parents and teachers reporting a nicotine addiction, vaping crisis among youths and young adults. The vapes are designed to be attractive as they look like small bright coloured USB’s or highlighters and have sweet lolly-like flavours.
The sale and use of e-liquid nicotine, including in e-cigarettes/vapes are against the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008. This means e-cigarettes containing nicotine cannot be sold in Australia.
NSW Health is continuing its strong e-cigarette compliance and enforcement program by targeting stores and has seized more than 37,000 e-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine since January this year.
In 2020-21, the NSW Government is investing $17.3 million on tobacco and e-cigarette control. This includes public awareness and education campaigns, quit smoking support, compliance and enforcement of strong smoke-free and retailing laws, and targeted programs for vulnerable groups with high smoking rates.