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Professor Hayden McRobbie

Vaping and young people

by Insight

Fewer Australians are smoking combustible cigarettes. The national smoking prevalence is down to 11.0% and reflects the strong tobacco control efforts of the government and non-government sectors. Quitting smoking remains one of the most important things that someone who smokes can do to improve their current and future health, as well as the health and wellbeing of other people around them. Whilst there are a range of options to support people to quit smoking, long-term quit rates are low. Over the past decade e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among smokers, and in some countries are now the most commonly used tool to aid smoking cessation. However, there have also been upwards trends in the use of e-cigarettes among ‘never smokers’. There are concerns that young people that use e-cigarettes may become dependent on these devices and use them long-term. Whilst e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, there are many unknowns about the health risks associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes. For people who don’t smoke, it is likely that the regular use of e-cigarettes will be associated with some health harms. This webinar will cover e-cigarette use in Australia and compare this to use in New Zealand and Great Britain. It will also provide an overview of the risks versus benefits of having e-cigarettes available, and policies and regulations that might be needed to get the best outcomes from a population perspective.

Professor Hayden McRobbie has worked in the field of behavioural medicine for more than 20 years and is a senior clinician with a specialist interest in lifestyle medicine. He holds a medical degree from the University of Otago, a doctorate from the University of London, and is Professor in Public Health Interventions at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, and a Fellow of the Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine. Hayden has played a key role in Tobacco Control in New Zealand, and his current work includes prevention and management of long-term conditions, with a particular focus on improving health outcomes for Māori in New Zealand.