Vaping is not cool

Vaping is not cool. That is the take home message from paediatricians, and the advice applies for children and adults alike.

In recent years, vaping has grown in popularity, particularly amongst teenagers and young people, as a “safer” alternative to smoking but experts are warning that’s not the case and are urging everyone to “know the facts” to avoid serious health problems.

Professor Adam Jaffe, Respiratory Paediatrician at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick has seen the effects of vaping firsthand and is worried about the number of children and young people taking up this dangerous habit.

“As a respiratory paediatrician, I am really worried about the acute effects of vaping. We have had children on the intensive care unit with acute lung injury caused by vaping and it’s something we need to prevent,” Professor Jaffe said.

“My greatest concern is that people are unknowingly inhaling liquids which they think are completely safe and “cool”, when they could be destroying their lungs, not only short term but also potentially causing lung injury problems and other health issues down the track.”

“Vaping is not cool and there is very real risk you could end up in hospital, or worse.”

Internationally, the serious effects of vaping have started to emerge, with a recent outbreak of EVALI (e-Cigarette or vaping acute lung injury) in the United States. Many of these people were admitted to intensive care and sadly, many did not recover. 

The majority of vaping devices contain harmful substances such as those found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray, and packaging often doesn’t reflect the true ingredients.

“Vaping liquids contain poisons that you wouldn’t put into your body if you knew they were in that liquid, like acetone, and the packaging doesn’t tell the full story.”

“It is incredibly important that children and young people learn the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes and understand what they are inhaling into their lungs,” Professor Jaffe said.

This week, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell have launched Get the Facts – Vaping Toolkit and NSW Health awareness campaign to combat the rising number of children and young people who are trying or taking up vaping..

The Vaping Toolkit and campaign is designed to increase young people’s awareness of the dangers of vaping and support parents, carers, families, schools and educators, health and community bodies with information and strategies to educate and protect young people from the harms of e-cigarettes.

“It is important young people as well as parents and carers, familiarise themselves with trusted information and resources, like the NSW Health website and Lung Foundation Australia, and have really open and honest conversations with each other so they can make an informed decision about whether vaping is worth the risk.”

To get the facts about the dangers of vaping, visit the NSW Health website.