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Don’t Get Sucked In; vaping education campaign launches

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) has launched a new education campaign today, aiming to educate young people about the adverse health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping.

‘Don’t Get Sucked In’ encourages teens to learn more about the health impacts of vaping, and why it’s important to get all the facts. The campaign consists of an interactive website and social media content, encouraging teens to test their knowledge around the vaping industry and become better informed.

ARFNZ CE Letitia Harding says the campaign aims to balance the dialogue surrounding vaping within New Zealand, and bring to light the health risks vaping devices can have, with a focus on non-smoking youth.

"Recent studies show a growing number of New Zealand youth both experimenting with and regularly vaping," says Letitia. "We intend to challenge students to find out if they have been influenced or ‘sucked in’ by some of the common misconceptions surrounding vaping and e-cigarette devices.

"There are concerns from health organisations, educators, and medical professionals around the rapid uptake in youth vaping. For example, many young people believe that vaping it is harmless, but we now know there are health risks. Don’t Get Sucked In will give young people the tools and information to make an educated decision."

In addition to being a central hub of vaping information, the Don’t Get Sucked In website provides a range of free downloadable posters for teachers, and information on how to address vaping with students and teens. Richard Dykes, President of the Auckland Secondary Schools Principals Association and Principal of Glendowie College, says that too many young people believe vaping is safe.

"I and other principals greatly value the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation stepping into the void that has been allowed to occur in the tobacco and vaping industry," says Richard. "Vaping has been promoted as a smoking cessation strategy, but the impact on our rangatahi has been ignored, and this campaign addresses that. It’s pleasing to hear a New Zealand voice that will help educate our young people."

"There is a vocal campaign of pro-vaping advocates, many with industry or business connections, focusing on smokers switching to vaping as a less harmful alternative," says Letitia. "However, in doing so, they have not informed young people who have never smoked that there are health risks. That's why this campaign is aimed at youth; to assist in making these products less appealing to this market."

"Youth are an easy target for marketing misinformation, and we aim to counterbalance that, and ensure they Don’t Get Sucked In."

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