Western Sydney high school students say “ghost it” to vaping

Western Sydney high school students are using this year’s World No Tobacco Day to share a powerful message to all young people, “Vaping is a toxic habit – ghost it!”.

The students collaborated with Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD)’s Centre for Population Health, the Prevention Education and Research Unit (PERU) and the Corporate Communications team to develop scripts, act and direct on two vaping prevention videos to encourage young people to quit vaping.

The videos, which include question and answer clips, will be shared widely via social media, school communication channels, community organisations and local councils in the coming weeks.

The first video addresses the number of young people who vape to cope with stress and poor mental health by creatively expressing how vaping is not the solution for dealing with mental health struggles, and instead encourages the seeking of professional help.

What some young people don’t realise is that vapes have nicotine which can get you hooked and can mess with your mood,” said one of the students involved.

“If you’re already dealing with stress or anxiety, it can make things worse.”

The second video emphasises avoiding unnecessary artificial e-cigarette flavours, protecting the environment and quitting together with friends, with fun messages to encourage the involvement in other activities and hobbies instead of vaping.

The video ends with a cheeky message, “Would your Grandma?”.

“We thought it would be funny to end the video with a highlighter to show how ridiculous vaping looks,” another student said.

Growing evidence shows that the use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, contributes to serious health harms to the body, including lung disease and injury, respiratory illness, and seizures.

WSLHD Centre for Population Health director, Dr Shopna Bag, was delighted to see the high school students advocate against the use of e-cigarettes and empower their peers to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing.

“The rise in e-cigarette use among young people is alarming and schools have found themselves at the forefront of this issue,” said Shopna.

“Young people in our community are very clued-in and aware of the negative health impacts caused by vaping.

“There is still work to be done to provide greater support for people to quit, but this is a district priority, and we are committed to supporting efforts to reduce the harms caused by e-cigarette use.”

For information to quit smoking or vaping, please speak with a health professional, contact NSW Quitline on 13 7848, or visit the ICanQuit website.