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Victorian-first curriculum-aligned resources launched to help teachers and students learn about youth vaping harms

Posted 11 Jan, 2024

Quit Victoria, in partnership with Monash University, VicHealth, the Victorian Department of Education, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), and the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Victoria, worked together to develop Seeing through the Haze: a suite of free, evidence-based, curriculum-aligned vaping education resources for Victorian schools.

Thursday, 11 January 2024.

Quit Director, Rachael Andersen commented on how the resources will help schools.

“Almost 1/3 [29.1%1] of secondary students have tried vaping, which presents a very real challenge for schools. Given the strong alignment to the Victorian school curriculum, these resources provide new and best-practice opportunities for engagement in classrooms, something we haven’t had on the important topic of vaping to this point.”

Minister for Education Ben Carroll welcomed the free education resources and said they will support schools to prevent and respond to vaping by providing further opportunities to help students understand the dangers of vaping through day-to-day learning.

“While vaping is a societal issue, schools are rightly concerned about the impacts of vaping on the physical and mental health of their students and are keen to be part of a broader, community-wide solution,” said Minister Carroll.

“That’s why we’re equipping schools with brand-new teaching and learning resources spanning health and physical education, English, science and other subjects, so teachers and principals have more support to address vaping right across the school curriculum.”

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas says these educational materials are another important step being taken to tackle vaping among younger Victorians.

“The health and safety of Victorians is our highest priority and these materials are helping ensure our younger Victorians understand the dangers of vaping so they can make informed decisions to protect their health.”

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said these new school resources will play a vital role in reducing and preventing vaping among young people.

“We know from our successful history in tobacco control that the classroom is an ideal environment for teenagers to learn about the harms of nicotine and smoking. Building on this legacy, the Seeing Through the Haze resources will support teachers to educate students about the health impacts of vaping.

“As the raft of new regulations come into play this year to address the sale and promotion of vaping nationally, these evidence-based resources are a crucial and timely step in tackling vaping among young people.”

CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, Todd Harper AM said the need to help students understand vaping health harms is urgent.

“The more we can discourage young people from taking up vaping or to support them to stop, the better the long-term health outcomes for the community. Because we know people who vape are three times as likely to take up smoking. Vaping can cause lung injury, lead to seizures and interrupt concentration. So, our intention is for these resources to empower students to work together to design vape-free spaces and advocate for a vape-free future”.

The resources are broken into separate modules to help students get the facts on vaping, to understand how social factors contribute to vaping and to develop anti-vaping campaigns to make change. Students eager to test their skills can then submit their anti-vaping campaign to the Seeing through the haze schools challenge running throughout 2024.

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