Vaping in Schools • Flashpoint

24 August 2021 11:46 am

Vaping in schools is becoming more and more popular in Australia, but are schools doing enough to combat teenagers taking up the unhealthy habit?

With plenty going on in the world this week, I was more than excited to join Tim McMillan on Flashpoint to discuss a number of interesting topics.

Over the last few years, the rise of e-cigarettes (vapes) has been truly astronomical. Combined with some clever marketing, trends, fruity flavours, and a host of perceived (and some true) health benefits, it was only a matter of time before vaping started to become a real problem in schools.

But whose responsibility is it to keep vaping out of schools and out of the hands of teenagers? Schools? Industry regulators? Government? Maybe that moral responsibility should lie with e-cigarette manufacturers themselves.
We all know that as long as vapes continue to look like iPods, vaping in schools will continue to be a problem.

While just about every vape company will never admit to targeting children in their advertising, it is clearly not the case. Whether it is fruity flavours or TikTok campaigns, teenagers make up a huge portion of vape users.

The vaping industry is worth more than $20 billion AUD, and school students make up a huge percentage of that market. So, here’s the 15-billion-dollar question: am I surprised at how savvy these e-cigarette companies are at clearly advertising to children?

Absolutely not. They are great advertisers, and that’s what good advertisers do. It’s creative marketing.

Do I agree with it? Do I think it is OK? Do I think social media platforms should be allowing this content on their platforms? No. I am, however, in no way surprised by the creativity of the advertising we are seeing from large e-cigarette companies.

While I’d love to say the opposite, the realist in me knows that vaping in schools seems like it’s here to stay.

Missed me on Flashpoint? Take a look at the vaping segment below! If you’d like to watch the full episode, you can check it out here.

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