Young People Needed For AI-driven Vaping Study

University of Queensland

Young people are encouraged to participate in a University of Queensland study that will use artificial intelligence technology to develop campaign materials to reduce youth vaping rates.

Associate Professor Gary Chung Kai Chan from UQ’s National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research said the research will use AI programs to co-design an anti-vaping campaign with people aged between 16 and 25 years old.

“Vaping is a major public health concern among youth, parents, communities and health agencies,” Dr Chan said.

“Vape liquids contain a range of harmful chemicals, including carcinogens, heavy metals, and high concentrations of nicotine, and exposure to these chemicals may increase the risk of nicotine dependence and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

“In 2019, 2.3 percent of people aged 15 to 24 in Australia used e‑cigarettes as opposed to regular cigarettes, and this number skyrocketed to 13.3 per cent in 2022-2023.”

Dr Chan said working directly with this demographic was essential to achieving a successful anti-vaping campaign.

“Using the latest advances in AI and a co-design process with youth, we will develop a library of anti-vaping campaign materials that truly resonate with young people to discourage experimentation with vapes and encourage current users to quit vaping.”

The research team will use ChatGPT and other AI programs to generate texts and imagery tailored for young people, followed by input from 500 participants who will be asked to rate texts, images and campaign material according to appeal and relevance.

“The current process used to develop campaign materials is time consuming and costly and resources are often outdated by the time the design cycle is complete,” Dr Chan said.

“Using AI, we can quickly co-design a large quantity of materials that are appealing, persuasive and relevant to this audience.”

Dr Chan said the resources will be made publicly available for use by health agencies and schools.

“We hope to improve education and awareness of the risks associated with vaping for young people, and we highly encourage people aged between 16 and 25 years to work with us to help solve this issue,” he said.

Young people from anywhere in Australia can fill out this form to express their interest in participating.

Media contact

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

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