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The impact on young people 

8 Sep 2023
News 3 min read
Young woman looks at the camera

“I started vaping because all my friends were doing it and it tasted good. So I thought, ‘why not?’.  

After a night out vaping my throat would hurt and I’d be coughing all day. 

If vapes were hard to get I wouldn’t have bothered. But they’re so easy to get” 

Year 12 student

Hooking a new generation on nicotine


The vaping industry, backed by big tobacco, are deliberately targeting our kids with these products which are loaded with toxic chemicals, despite knowing they are harmful and highly addictive. 

Most young people who use e-cigarettes have never used traditional cigarettes. But we also know young people who vape are three times as likely to go on to use traditional cigarettes

  • Tobacco industry tactics

    Sacrificing children for profits

    The dangers of e-cigarettes are very scary and real – multinational tobacco and vaping companies are using sneaky digital marketing tactics to directly target teenagers and young people through social media to drive sales. And it’s our children who suffer as a result. 

    What marketing tactics are big tobacco and vaping companies using on our kids?

    The toxic fumes from e-cigarettes are dangerous and don’t belong in our lungs.

    The vaping and tobacco industry is using every trick in the book to hook a new generation of Australians on these highly addictive products, such as: 

    Product design

    Producing e-cigarettes with sweet flavours, such as cola ice and candy floss, and creating devices that are brightly coloured and with discrete packaging, designed in ways that appeal to young people. 


    Using social media extensively to market and sell vaping products to young people, with vape challenges promoted across TikTok and YouTube. This content is often sponsored by tobacco and e-cigarette companies and endorsed by influencers with large social media followings. 


    Mislabeling nicotine e-cigarettes as ‘non-nicotine’ so they are easily available at convenience stores and online without a doctor’s prescription. 

3 young people standing next to a fence and talking to each other


of Australians vape

A national sample surveyed Australians aged between 15–30 years and found that almost half reported being either current users (14%) or having used e-cigarettes in the past (33%). 

Two young people with skateboards

But only

1 in 3

understand what's in them

Our National E-Cigarette Awareness and Attitudes Survey revealed that only 1 in 3 young people and parents understand what's in an e-cigarette.

More statistics

Mental health concerns

Around 2 in 3 (64%) young people were concerned about the impact of vaping on the mental health of their friends and peers

Young people see dependency

Almost 2 in 3 (63%) young people said they know someone who is dependent on vaping

Trusted support needed

Just over 1 in 3 (38%) young people know where to seek support for vaping

E-cigarettes can contain up to 200 dangerous chemicals, such as poisons found in weed killer and paint stripper, that are inhaled deep into the lungs. 

Person holds a phone with a social media image of a person vaping toward the camera with sunglasses on

Social media

Research and publications
7 min read
15 Sep 2023

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.