Australian government launches new national anti-vaping ad campaign

Australia’s first national anti-vaping advertising campaign is urging users to give up their everyday habits with a series of disturbing new adverts, which also warn users that vaping addiction can be “slow and slow”.

On Monday, the federal government will launch a $63.4 million advertising campaign aimed at curbing e-cigarette use and smoking as it prepares for a nationwide ban on non-therapeutic e-cigarette products.

The country’s first adult anti-vaping advert, set to air in cinemas and on television, features a man sitting in a pub with his friends, a man playing with his son and a woman chatting with a colleague, all of whom are then drawn away by an invisible force – their e-cigarette.

Another advert, which takes a more relaxed tone and is aimed at young people, shows teenagers in typical situations where vaping is widespread and asks viewers the question: “Why do we still do this?”.

The new ads follow an influencer-led campaign on e-cigarettes for youth that launched on social media earlier this year and has since been viewed nearly 7.7 million times.

The new anti-smoking and anti-vaping ads will run on television, digital video and audio formats, social media, games, radio, cinemas and outdoor channels such as billboards, shopping centres and bus stops.

Health Minister Mark Butler said senators had a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to protect the health of Australians when they voted on the government’s anti-e-cigarette legislation next month.

“Nicotine is highly addictive and before you know it, something that is an occasional thing turns into something much more serious. But it’s never too late to quit,” Butler said.

In addition to launching a new public health campaign, the Government will also increase funding for the introduction of nationwide, unified support services specifically targeting nicotine addiction caused by e-cigarettes and smoking.

This includes the development of an online stop vaping hub and the redesign of the My QuitBuddy app to provide new features and support specifically for vaping.

The plan will also provide parents and caregivers with new dedicated resources and updated clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals.

The third part of Labour’s anti-vaping legislation, to be voted on in June, will ban the manufacture, advertising, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic e-cigarettes domestically.

It follows laws passed in January that banned the import of disposable vaporizers into Australia.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has not yet outlined his position on the impending bill, but supporters of the ban within the Liberal Party include opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston.

National Party leader David Littleproud said his party would not support the laws and would instead support a regulatory model similar to tobacco.

A formal statement from the Greens is still pending.

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