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Why the Lung Foundation is helping young people ‘unveil what they inhale’ – podcast

While cigarette smoking has been on the decline for some time now, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes or vaping among teenagers and young adults has parents, teachers and experts across the country concerned. And with their lolly-like flavourings, bright colours and sleek designs, many young people have been tricked into thinking they are virtually harmless.

But for Mark Brooke, CEO of the Lung Foundation Australia, and other experts in the field, nothing could be further from the truth. According to him, teenagers have "been sold a lie".

In this interview with Education Review, Mark discusses the growing health concerns surrounding teenagers and vaping, including disturbing research findings. A groundbreaking study conducted by Curtin University involved a chemical analysis of 52 e-liquids commonly used in vapes or electronic cigarettes.

All 52 e-liquids were incorrectly labelled in terms of ingredients, including some with "unknown effects on respiratory health". Some of the chemicals detected are commonly found in household disinfectant, petroleum, cosmetics, paint and even include eugenol, commonly used to euthanise fish. Equally concerning was the fact that 21 per cent of the e-liquid samples contained traces of nicotine, the harmful drug that causes addiction and is illegal in Australia.

Mark also talks about the Unveil What You Inhale campaign, which has been co-designed by students and seeks to arm everyone with the facts about vaping. As the CEO states, "We don't what to undo 30 years of excellent work in tobacco harm reduction".

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