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‘Alarming’: Young Aussies struggle to quit vapes

'Alarming': Young Aussies struggling to quit vaping

'Alarming': Young Aussies struggling to quit vaping Photo: AAP

Vape users aged between 14 and 25 are remaining hooked to the habit despite repeated attempts to quit, a survey reveals.

Young Australians who vape are remaining hooked to the habit despite repeated attempts to quit, research reveals.

The insight comes from a University of Melbourne survey released on Monday which quizzed more than 600 vape users aged between 14 and 25.

Sixty-one per cent of young people who vape expressed a desire to quit, and more than half, or 55 per cent, had tried.

One in five users said they had tried unsuccessfully multiple times.

The study also found young people who believed vapes were easy to access were less likely to attempt or want to quit.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis said the study’s timing coincided with legislation before federal parliament that aimed to limit access to vapes.

“What this study shows is that we must introduce legislation that reduces the accessibility of e-cigarettes,” she said.

“We know that 14 to 25-year-olds are the most prevalent vapers in Australia, and in recent years we have seen significant increases in vape use in this cohort, which is alarming.”

The referenced legislation was introduced in February to stop the importation, manufacture, supply and commercial possession of disposable single-use vapes.

These laws would make the e-cigarettes only accessible via prescription at pharmacies.

The crackdown would also result in jail time or fines of up to $2.2 million for breaches.

Prof Jongenelis said school-based education was linked to attempts to quit among the school-aged teens surveyed.

“Young Australians are trying to do the right thing, but they face a huge barrier in the form of tobacconists, vape stores, convenience stores, even newsagencies that continue to sell vapes to minors,” she said.

Australia’s latest national data revealed one in six high school students had recently vaped and young people who did it were three times more likely to take up smoking.

—AAP

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