Tackle Smoking and Vaping Among Young People

The South Australian government is taking a significant step to address the rising concern of smoking and vaping rates among young people in the state.

The South Australian government is taking a significant step to address the rising concern of smoking and vaping rates among young people in the state. With a budget of $2 million, an eight-week advertising blitz is set to launch to combat the increasing uptake of vaping and its associated health risks. The campaign aims to inform and educate the target audience, particularly those aged 15 to 25, about the harmful effects of vaping and the toxic chemicals found in e-cigarettes.

Understanding the Challenge

In recent years, e-cigarette use among young South Australians has soared, from 1.1 per cent in 2017 to a staggering 7.8 per cent in 2022. This concerning trend has prompted Health Minister Chris Picton to take action. He emphasizes the urgency of the matter, as many young people are unaware of the hazardous substances they are inhaling. The government is deeply concerned about the long-term impact on their health, given that vaping chemicals and nicotine are not safe for their developing lungs.

Unveiling the $2 Million Advertising Blitz

The state government's ambitious campaign will utilize multiple platforms to spread its message. Ads will be visible across social media, digital platforms, outdoor spaces, and radio, targeting the young demographic at the core of this issue. The high concentration of outdoor advertisements on Hindley Street, a popular nightclub precinct, aims to directly address the prominence of vaping in this area.

Karl Kruszelnicki Joins the Cause

To make the campaign more impactful, Australian scientist Karl Kruszelnicki will lend his voice to the advertisements. His involvement will help emphasize the scientific evidence behind the harmful chemicals found in vapes and the damage they cause to lung cells. The ads will also reach parents and carers of children aged 10 to 19 years old, ensuring they are informed and can support their children in making informed choices.

The Message: "Do You Know What You're Vaping?"

Central to the campaign's strategy is the powerful slogan, "Do you know what you're vaping?" This message aims to raise awareness about the toxic chemicals found in vapes, likening them to harmful substances present in everyday items like nail polish remover, bug spray, and cleaning products. The goal is to instill a sense of caution and consideration among young people before they pick up an e-cigarette.

Link Between Vaping and Smoking

The Cancer Council of South Australia has sounded a warning about the link between vaping and smoking. Studies show that children who vape are three times more likely to become tobacco smokers. This troubling correlation is of utmost concern to health experts, and it highlights the importance of addressing vaping among young people as a critical preventative measure.

A Comprehensive Approach: Targeting Smoking

While the campaign is primarily focused on reducing vaping rates, it's not ignoring the ongoing battle against smoking. A separate campaign, set to launch over the next 12 months, will target smoking specifically. The state government, in collaboration with Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA), plans to release three "powerful" testimonial-style advertisements featuring individuals who have successfully quit smoking.

Embracing Non-Judgmental Support

The advertisements designed for smokers emphasize a non-judgmental approach, recognizing that quitting smoking is a challenging journey. Smokers need care and support rather than criticism. The campaign aims to resonate strongly with smokers and encourage them to take action towards a healthier lifestyle.

Inspiring Quitting Experiences

Dr. Clinton Cenko, manager of the tobacco control unit at DASSA, believes that personal stories have the greatest impact on smokers. Hearing from real people who have successfully quit can inspire and motivate others to take the same path. Kathryn Pugh, who features in one of the government's anti-smoking ads, shares her experience of quitting after several attempts, proving that determination and persistence are key.


The South Australian government's $2 million advertising blitz represents a significant effort to tackle the rising rates of smoking and vaping among young people. By spreading awareness about the toxic chemicals found in vapes and the potential risks associated with e-cigarette use, the campaign aims to safeguard the health and well-being of South Australia's youth. Simultaneously, efforts to support and inspire smokers to quit align with the government's commitment to reducing smoking rates and saving lives.















FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What age group is the campaign targeting? The campaign will primarily target people aged 15 to 25 years old, along with parents and carers of children aged 10 to 19 years old.

2. Why is vaping among young people a cause for concern? Vaping among young people is concerning because the chemicals in e-cigarettes are harmful to developing lungs and can lead to nicotine addiction, potentially paving the way for future tobacco smoking.

3. What platforms will the campaign utilize? The campaign will utilize various platforms, including social media, digital platforms, outdoor spaces, and radio, to reach its target audience effectively.

4. What is the main message of the campaign? The central message of the campaign is "Do you know what you're vaping?" It aims to raise awareness about the harmful chemicals found in vapes, urging young people to reconsider their choices.

5. Will there be a separate campaign for smokers? Yes, a separate campaign targeting smoking is set to launch over the next 12 months. It will feature testimonial-style advertisements from individuals who have successfully quit smoking, offering support and encouragement to smokers seeking to quit.

Matthew Ma

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