A new partnership between Life Education Trust NZ (LET) and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) has been formed to take on the fight against the teen vaping epidemic.
The recent ‘Vaping in NZ youth survey’, undertaken by ARFNZ and the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ), was one of the largest youth vaping surveys ever conducted and showed ‘a huge problem’ with youth vaping in New Zealand. Findings from 19,000 survey participants highlighted included that 27% of secondary school teens reported vaping over the past week, and 86% of those who reported vaping more than once a day said that they were addicted to their vape.
One of the recommendations of this report was to place emphasis on an Aotearoa educational campaign aimed at youth, and focused on the health harms that vaping can cause. This is why ARFNZ and LET (NZ) are joining forces.
ARFNZ is a leader in the vaping education and research space, and runs the vaping education website Don’t Get Sucked In (DGSI), dontgetsuckedin.co.nz. It is the most widely used vaping youth education website in New Zealand, and has attracted more than 45,000 page views in the last five months.
Life Education Trust has been providing health and wellbeing education in schools since 1988. It is the largest health education provider in New Zealand, delivering the Healthy Harold programme to 86% of primary and intermediate schools, alcohol education and financial literacy programmes for secondary schools and professional development for teachers.
Next year, Life Education Trust will be creating new initiatives to address youth vaping. To do this, they will draw on the resources of ARFNZ, and consult with ARFNZ’s Vaping Educational Advisory Group of respiratory health experts.
“At Life Education Trust, our vision is inspiring tamariki and rangatahi to make positive choices, and one of the most positive choices they can make for their health is to avoid vaping,” says John O’Connell, Chief Executive of Life Education Trust.
“We’re hearing from more and more schools who are desperate for educational support for students and strategies for teachers when it comes to managing the increasing vaping problem.”
“ARFNZ and Life Education Trust are such a great fit,” says ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia Harding. “With their long history of helping children and young people to make healthy choices, and our leadership in youth vaping education and research, together we can do great things. We look forward to sharing our resources and expertise to work toward the goal of reducing teen vaping and all the harms associated with it.”
Life Education Trust will promote the DGSI website to students, meaning even more young people can benefit from learning the truth about vaping. “DGSI is full of useful and credible information and resources, and it’s reviewed regularly by our Vaping Educational Advisory Group,” says Letitia.
“It’s a fantastic resource for young people with questions about vaping, and we’re delighted Life Education Trust will be helping to extend its reach.”