Greens move for health approach to vaping


ACT Greens MLA, Laura Nuttall, will this week move a motion calling on better supports for young people who vape.  

“Nicotine - whether smoked or vaped - is a drug, and drug use is a health issue,” said Laura Nuttall MLA, ACT Greens Spokesperson for Young People.

Vaping and nicotine dependence is a growing concern for many young people.  The 2024 Generation Vape research project revealed that 35.9% of young people are regularly using vaping products.

“In Canberra, we’ve largely recognised that ‘don’t do drugs, kids’ is not a good enough response to substance use,” said Miss Nuttall.

“We know that we need to treat drug use and addiction as the health issues that they are. Nicotine and specifically vaping must be no different.

“That’s why I am calling on the ACT Government to investigate the information and support services available to young people in order to reduce the harms caused by vaping.

"Our approach to vaping and the way we design our supports for people who vape must be developed in consultation with those who understand the issue firsthand.

“This means active consultation with young people themselves to better understand their needs and challenges, as well as co-designing solutions that are tailored to their unique circumstances.

The move is backed by ACT Population Health Minister and Greens MLA for Murrumbidgee, Emma Davidson.

“We all want young people to live and grow healthy. This motion clarifies how we can support young people in the ACT and ensure we fund services that empower young people to make healthier choices. We must have the right measures in place, designed with young people, to ensure they receive the support they need,” Minister Davidson said.

Cancer Council ACT CEO Verity Hawkins welcomed action to prevent harm caused by vaping in the Canberra community.

“We know that e-cigarettes can impede brain development in young people, lead to seizures and loss of concentration, exacerbate mood disorders, inhibit sleep and cause irritability and anxiety,” Ms Hawkins said.

“We also know that people who vape are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes.

“Nicotine is highly addictive, and quitting is a real challenge for anyone. We commend the Legislative Assembly for its commitment to support young Canberrans through this process, and Cancer Council is here to help.”

The motion will require that the government report back to the assembly by June, recognising the urgent need for action on the issue.