Australian government launches national campaign to combat smoking and vaping via Tiktok

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10th June 2024 – (Canberra) The Australian government has unveiled an ambitious campaign aimed at combating smoking and vaping habits among its citizens. Mark Butler, the minister for health, recently announced an extensive advertising initiative, backed by a substantial budget of 63.4 million Australian dollars ($41.7 million U.S. dollars), to educate the public about the detrimental effects of smoking and vaping on their well-being.

This campaign represents a milestone as it is the first time the federal government has taken the initiative to inform the public about the risks and harms associated with vaping. Furthermore, it marks the government’s initial national anti-smoking advertising campaign in nearly a decade, emphasising the urgency of addressing this pressing issue.

Utilizing various media platforms, including television, radio, and social media, the campaign aims to reach a wide audience. TikTok will be incorporated into a federal government advertising campaign for the first time, leveraging its popularity among young people.

Minister Mark Butler emphasised the addictive nature of nicotine and urged individuals to take action before their occasional indulgence evolves into a serious addiction. He emphasized that it is never too late to quit and encouraged smokers and vapers to consider their long-term health outcomes.

Statistics from the Cancer Council, a prominent non-governmental organization, highlight the alarming impact of tobacco smoking in Australia. It remains the leading cause of preventable deaths and diseases, claiming approximately 24,000 lives annually.

The recently released National Drug Strategy Household Survey for 2022-23, published in February, revealed a concerning rise in e-cigarette usage. The survey reported that 21 per cent of Australians aged 18-24 and 9.7 per cent of those aged 14-17 had used an e-cigarette in the past 12 months, marking a significant increase compared to 2019 figures of 5.3 and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

In March, Minister Butler introduced legislation to parliament aimed at banning the domestic manufacturing, advertisement, supply, and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes throughout Australia. This legislative move underscores the government’s commitment to curbing the proliferation of vaping products.

In January, the government had already taken steps to address the issue by implementing a ban on the importation of disposable, single-use vapes.