A KEY local health agency has called for increased community conversation about the risks of vaping.
Against the backdrop of World Anti-Tobacco Day, Bendigo Community Health Services is asking parents, schools and young people to have conversations about the harmful realities of using e-cigarettes.
As noted by key Australian and international health organisations, there is increasing evidence of health related harm caused by vaping.
BCHS encourages people to learn the facts about vaping, which include:
BCHS care and recovery coordination practitioner/family drug support worker, Alison Harper, says it's important people know even vapes without nicotine, are harmful.
"Vaping can be wrongly perceived as a less harmful alternative to young people, due to the users inhaling nicotine or other vapour rather than tobacco smoke," she said.
"Vapes, or e-cigarettes, have been reported to cause explosions when in use and injuries inclusive of blindness, burns, fractured bones, loss of teeth, cuts and bleeding, holes in the tongue and mouth as well as permanent scars - so it's important we spread this awareness too."
"We are concerned about the high number of young people developing addiction to e-cigarettes," she said.
"We recommend you approach any conversations calmly, and talk about some of the information you have come across - focusing on your concerns for their health, rather than making judgements or assumptions."
Bendigo Community Health Services is offering vaping education sessions to schools, focusing on students in the years seven to nine levels.
Schools are encouraged to register and/or work towards the Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drug Health Priority area, in the Achievement Program - which is a free state-wide program, where schools can be recognised by the Victorian Government for creating healthier environments using evidence-based whole school approaches.
For information on the school education program, call 5406 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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