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Quit launches campaigns to help people stop smoking and vaping, as nicotine addiction rises

Posted 16 Nov, 2023

Data highlights the need for Quit campaigns to drive motivation to stop smoking and support to quit, as nicotine addiction continues to rise

Thursday, 16 November 2023

Quit has launched two important initiatives designed to raise awareness of the tobacco industry’s manipulation of products, and to encourage people with nicotine dependence to access support to quit.

The launch comes amidst rising rates of nicotine addiction among young Australians, driven largely by steep increases in vaping. While the smoking prevalence in Australia continues to hover around 11.8% across the population, vaping prevalence has risen across all age groups, suggesting that most people who vape are not doing so to quit smoking.

National data from the Federal Government’s Report titled Current vaping and smoking in the Australian Population aged 14 years or older 2018-2022, analysed by Cancer Council Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, shows that 1.2% of 18-24 year olds dual used tobacco and e-cigarettes in 2018, compared to 7.7% in 2022, representing a more than 600% increase in just four years.

Quit Director, Rachael Andersen gave context for the importance of the two campaigns and their need to focus tightly on supporting people who smoke and/or vape to quit.

“At Quit, we are deeply concerned by the staggering increase in youth vaping and the rise in dual use of tobacco and e-cigarettes – especially when we know that nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs.”

“These new Quit campaigns will educate people about the manipulative tactics used by the tobacco industry to hook them on nicotine. And importantly, the campaigns will help support people who smoke or vape to quit. We want to ensure all Australians see the Big Tobacco industry for what it is – predatory and out to profit from tobacco sales, at the cost of more than 20,000 Australian lives each year,” Andersen added.

The launch of Quit’s motivational campaign, The Con that Kills (‘the Con’), highlights the deceptive strategies of the tobacco industry, which hooks and keeps people smoking. The industry also makes it more difficult for those wanting to quit smoking to stop, through the inclusion of additives (such as menthol) which make smoking more addictive and mask the true harshness of the smoke.

A new iteration of the Con campaign includes the roll-your-own tobacco advertisement. This ad shows how rollie tobacco is manipulated to make it seem ‘fresh’ or ’natural’, while the smoke someone inhales is just as toxic and deadly as other cigarette products. It’s all part of Big Tobacco’s con that kills.

Simultaneously in market is the Beat the Cravings campaign which draws attention to key daily moments when someone who smokes may crave a hit of nicotine – such as when drinking coffee, after dinner, or when bored. Importantly, the campaign then suggests to people who smoke or vape a solution to support their quitting – such as a behaviour change to switch up their daily routine, and offers the support of free Quitline counselling.

VicHealth Manager of Commercial Determinants of Health, Bonnie Matheson, reinforced the dangers of the tobacco industry’s intent to undermine health.

“Our brains are still developing until the age of 25, so teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction.

“These campaigns educate young people about the significant dangers of these products and help avoid another generation becoming hooked on nicotine."

Quit is jointly funded by Cancer Council Victoria, VicHealth, and the Victorian Department of Health.


Media Contacts:
For more information about the campaigns and vaping facts visit:
For support to stop smoking or vaping for yourself or a loved one:
  • or call Quitline on 13 7848 for confidential, free support from trained Quitline counsellors. Aboriginal Quitline counsellors for mob and a range of translation services available.

  • Speak to your health professional for personalised medical advice on best quitting strategies for you

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