Community forum tackles youth vaping issue Coffs Coast Highlight Section Nambucca Valley by News Of The Area - Modern Media - June 15, 2023 North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce members Lauren Proudfoot, Robin Auld, Nicola Kerr, Melinda Ricketts, Amy Sawyer and Stephen Gammack at the community forum. HOW to protect young people from the harms of vaping was the key issue discussed by the North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce at a forum on Wednesday 7 June. The aim of the participant discussions was to capture the perspectives of young people, community and organisational stakeholders to inform the development of a regional action plan. Vaping Taskforce spokesperson Robin Auld said NSW Health was working with NSW Police, the Department of Education and non-government organisations to deliver a coordinated and community-informed response. “The Taskforce aims to strengthen community action in the areas of prevention and harm reduction and support regulation and compliance in relation to the sale of vaping devices on the North Coast,” Robin said. “The issue of vaping across the North Coast requires a coordinated cross-sector response to tackle it.” The Taskforce recognises the highest users of vapes are young people and has been identified as a real problem in local communities. In 2020-2021, the NSW Population Health Survey found 32.7 percent of people aged sixteen to 24 had used a vape, and 11.1 percent were current users. Delegates heard that in the days before the forum, NSW Health in partnership with NSW Police seized more than $400,000 worth of illicit vapes and illicit cigarettes, as part of compliance activities on the North Coast. The operation removed nearly 8,000 vaping units from sale. “Reducing the availability of illegal vapes is an important step in helping protect young people from the harms of vaping,” said Robin. The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce is a partnership between Mid North Coast Local Health District, North Coast Population and Public Health and Northern NSW Local Health District. This is the first of two community forums bringing together key partners; the second will be held in Ballina on 20 June 2023. Information about the harms associated with vaping is available at www.health.nsw.gov.au/vaping. By Andrea FERRARI A break-out session for the North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce delegates. The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce is a partnership between Mid North Coast Local Health District, North Coast Population and Public Health and Northern NSW Local Health District. The forum brought together key partners to discuss ways to protect young people from the harms of vaping.