Vaping: The Often Illegal Scourge On Sydney’s Streets

A survey in New South Wales has found that roughly one-third of Sydney teenagers aged 14 to 17 have tried vaping. 

Selling vapes and vape accessories to anyone under 18 is illegal, regardless of nicotine content. 

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However, one study has found teenagers who have vaped, found it easy to access e-cigarettes from multiple illegal sources.

On today’s episode of This Arvo in Sydney, we talked to a Sydney teacher who had a little bust on school grounds. We also interviewed Psychologist Donnan Cross to discover why vaping is out of control in Sydney high schools.

“We caught a student vaping in class while the teacher’s back was turned to write something on the whiteboard. So we did all the bag searches and found vapes inside.”

A Sydney teacher says the issue has escalated to the point that bathroom breaks during class have been banned due to students vaping and trading vapes in the restrooms.

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Ms Cross says teenagers often feel compelled to explore forbidden territory, and peer pressure further amplifies this behaviour. 

She sees teenagers who rely on vaping as a coping mechanism to help with mental health issues. 

“It’s a multi-faceted issue, and mental health plays a role too. One in seven Australian kids aged 4 to 17 have recently experienced a mental health disorder, with anxiety, depression, and ADHD being common,” she said.

“It’s essential for parents to be aware and educated to help their children make informed choices.”

The federal government has plans to crack down on vaping across the country, including restricting flavours, changing the packaging, and replacing disposable vapes. 

Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.