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SA Launches Education Program to Prevent Youth Use of E-cigarettes

A recent survey in South Australia reported that two thirds of the young people surveyed said they had tried e-cigarettes. In response, South Australian Education Minister Blair Boyer has called for national measures to address this "problem" and plans to introduce proposals with Jason Clare.

According to Boyer,"This is a serious issue that needs urgent national attention and SA will be leading the way in putting the issue of youth e-cigarette use on the national agenda. As a state government we are forward thinking and proactive in working with the federal government to ensure the health and wellbeing of our young people."

Similarly, Health Secretary Chris Picton said,"E-cigarettes are clearly becoming more of an issue and are becoming more prevalent in schools. We want to do everything we can at the state level to protect our children and reduce the harm caused by e-cigarettes."

In response to these claims, Encounter Youth, a leading alcohol and other drug education organisation in South Australia, has developed an e-cigarette prevention program.Encounter Youth has established relationships and a proven track record of supporting school students, parents and teachers in dealing with the social pressures of e-cigarettes.

Empower Education's new e-cigarette program features targeted, interactive workshops to educate students about the health effects of e-cigarettes and connect them to the support needed to reduce the incidence of e-cigarettes among young people.

The director of Empower Education believes that the alcohol and other drug industries are constantly changing and adding e-cigarette education to Encounter Youth's empowering education program will ensure that young people in South Australia are equipped with the knowledge and strategies they need to protect themselves and their partners.

Finally, the various restrictions and regulations on e-cigarettes in recent years have often been aimed at protecting minors, but are far stronger for e-cigarettes than for drugs such as tobacco, alcohol or even marijuana. From the perspective of tobacco harm reduction, this is a complete reversal of the cart before the horse.