Support for teachers to educate students on the risks of vaping

Australian Greens

More than 180 people have accessed an online education program to educate young Canberrans on the risks of e-cigarettes and vaping products.

The Vaping, Youth & Health education package aims to increase teacher knowledge of vaping issues, including health harms, nicotine addiction, environmental concerns and the relevant laws and regulations.

Designed for year 7 and 8 teachers, the package builds knowledge and capacity to confidently deliver evidence-based lessons on the harms caused by e-cigarettes and vaping. It is a free, self-paced 2-hour, Teacher Quality Institute accredited e-learning course.

The package includes educational resources for classroom use and lesson planning, aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Teachers can complete the course online and be ready to take this content to their classrooms the next day.

Minister for Population Health Emma Davidson said giving ACT teachers the right tools to educate their students on vaping means younger people will make more informed decisions about their health.

“Drugs are a health issue, not a criminal one and this applies to vaping too. To help people make safer choices they need access to information and health and social services,” Minister Davidson said.

“Young people who vape are exposed to nicotine and other harmful chemicals used in vape liquids and may turn to cigarettes when they are older. We need to provide services to young people with a dependency that genuinely supports their needs and reduces harm.

“As part of ACT Government’s response to minimise harm, we are supporting teachers with high quality resources to deliver evidence-based information on vaping and e-cigarettes so young people are well informed about the significant risks of these products.”

The education package was developed through a co-design process with over 150 ACT teachers and students across ACT public, Catholic and independent schools, and draws on research of young people’s knowledge and attitudes towards e-cigarettes.

It was reviewed by subject matter experts at the Australian National University, ACT Health and by teaching practice and curriculum experts at the ACT Education Directorate.

As stated by Dr Terry Tamsyn, teacher and co-designer of the education package:

“The Vaping, Youth & Health education package was co-designed and developed with students and educators. The ACT Health team worked with and gathered valuable insights from the students, and I was invited to contribute to the program throughout its development.

“I am excited about this program and confident of its relevance as it is based on the voice of students, educators, research, and evidence.”

Teachers can access the course through the Healthy Children’s Learning Hub.

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