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E-cigs lose puff in some public places

​The use of e-cigarettes will be prohibited in some public places in NSW following the passing of the Smoke-free Environment Amendment Bill 2018. The legislation will bring the rules around vaping in public spaces and on public transport into line with traditional cigarettes.  Under the Smoke-free Environment Act, it is illegal to smoke in all enclosed public places, including shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains and buses. It is also illegal to smoke in some outdoor areas, including: Within 10 metres of children's playgrounds Swimming pool complexes Public transport stops and stations Spectator areas of grounds during organised sporting events Within four metres of an entrance to a public building Commercial outdoor dining areas The new legislation means that it will also be illegal to use e-cigarettes in these areas. The smoke-free areas are often crowded and frequented by children and families, and people in these areas have limited opportunity to avoid smoke and e-cigarette vapour.  Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there is evidence of potential health risks from e-cigarette vapours, even when there is no illegal nicotine in the e-liquid.  "E-cigarette vapours can contain chemicals, toxins and metals, and some of these substances, like formaldehyde, are already known to cause cancer," Dr Chant said. "The National Health and Medical Research Council states e-cigarettes expose both users and bystanders to very small particles which may worsen existing illnesses or increase the risk of developing cardiovascular or respiratory disease." The Smoke-free Environment Amendment Bill 2018 will come into effect in July 2018, and will match laws in most other Australian States. "The new laws do not ban people from using e-cigarettes," Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. "Put simply, where you are not allowed to smoke cigarettes, you now cannot vape either. "Despite claims to the contrary, the jury is still out on the alleged benefits of e-cigarettes. The medical advice from Australian authorities is we need to err on the side of caution. "The NSW Government is acting now to protect vulnerable bystanders from passive exposure to vapour and if you snub these new laws you risk fines of up to $550." The Therapeutic Goods Administration has not approved any e-cigarette product as an aid to help with quitting smoking. The new legislation also requires e-cigarettes retailers to notify NSW Health they are selling such products, as tobacco retailers are already required to do. Want to learn more about e-cigarettes? Visit our tobacco page  here .  

20/04/2018

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iCanQuit! Smoking in pregnancy campaign launches

In partnership with the state government,  NSW Cancer Institute  has launched the Smoking in Pregnancy campaign. The initiative aims to motivate women aged 16-40 who smoke and are: planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or have recently given birth - to make a quit attempt. Research shows that smoking during pregnancy is the biggest contributing factor to the development of complications and can cause significant health issues for the child throughout their life. The campaign is based on formative research that revealed there was a limited awareness of the health risks associated with smoking when pregnant and of the support available to stop. The research found that raising awareness of the harms of smoking during pregnancy was more likely to lead to positive behaviour change. Smoking in Pregnancy includes relatable imagery and positive, non-judgemental language to promote the health benefits of quitting smoking. Not only does quitting smoking benefit the individual, but it is also is beneficial to the family. Children in non-smoking households are less likely to develop asthma and other respiratory conditions. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke—even an occasional cigarette or exposure to second hand smoke—is harmful. Smoking just one to four cigarettes a day almost triples a person's risk of dying from heart disease or lung cancer.  The campaign launched on April 15th and is supported by the  Koori Quitline Facebook page . To find out more information about quitting smoking visit:  www.iCanQuit.com.au Learn the facts about tobacco and other drugs  here .  

19/04/2018

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Unity through diversity: Celebrate young people at Youth Week 2018

Did you know that young people today are more likely to abstain from alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco than any time since 2001? Contrary to popular belief, young people are actually choosing to drink less or abstain from alcohol completely, while alcohol consumption in older age groups is increasing. According to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household survey, in 2016 82 per cent of teenagers aged 12-17 years abstained from drinking compared to 72 per cent in 2013. If we look even further back, alcohol consumption has reached its lowest point since the sixties and data from the  Australian Bureau of Statistics  shows that this is thanks to reductions in youth drinking.  Driving healthy outcomes Although these statistics show positive shifts in young people's behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol, there's no denying that alcohol-related harm remains a problem area among NSW youth. With young people regularly exposed to a high volume of alcohol promotion which  links alcohol to sport and social success , they are constantly being fed contradictory messages about the effects of alcohol. The household survey revealed that five per cent of young people aged 12-17 drank more than four standard drinks on one occasion, placing them at risk of immediate harm. Compared to other age groups, teenagers are particularly vulnerable to alcohol-related harms and even small amounts of alcohol can have damaging effects on adolescent brains.  Studies  indicate that healthy living is important to younger people, and when educated on the affects and impacts of alcohol and other drugs they are able to make better-informed decisions. This suggests that (among other strategies) an increased focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle – whether this be through regular exercise or community groups - could be crucial in declining youth drinking.  Celebrating NSW youth NSW Youth Week celebrates young people across every state and territory in Australia. Running this year from April 13th-22nd, it is organised by young people, for young people in communities across NSW and Australia.  The 2018 Youth Week theme is 'Unity Through Diversity' and is the single largest celebration for young people across NSW aged 12-24. Youth will have the opportunity to share ideas, attend live events and festivals, have their voices heard on issues of concern to them, showcase their talents, take part in competitions and more importantly – have fun! Events include touch football competitions, discos, games nights, movie and pizza nights, skateboarding, dodge ball tournaments and lots more.  Following the success of the NSW Youth Week program, Youth Week became a National event in 2000. National Youth Week is jointly supported by the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments and Local Governments. Be a part of Youth Week 2018 and sign up to an event near you today:  https://www.youthweek.nsw.gov.au/   Ready player one? Test your drug and alcohol knowledge by visiting The Quiz Room  here .   

17/04/2018

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