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Vape harm sculpture to raise awareness risk of vaping on display at West Gippsland Arts Centre 6 - 27 November 2023

West Gippsland Healthcare and Baw Baw Shire display VicHealth's 'What's Really in a Vape?' sculpture at the West Gippsland Arts Centre from November 6 to 27, 2023.

By news@gippsland - 20th October 2023 - Back to News

Although there has been significant progress in tobacco control over the past fifty years, the use of e-cigarettes in Victoria has surged dramatically. According to Quit Victoria, an astonishing 77,200 Victorian adults who had never smoked before began vaping between 2018 to 2022. Moreover, over half of the adults who vaped in 2022 were aged between 18 and 29.

E-cigarette use has surged in Victoria, with 77,200 new adult vapers from 2018 to 2022. To address this issue, a 'What's Really in a Vape' sculpture is displayed, emphasising vaping's dangers

E-cigarette use has surged in Victoria, with 77,200 new adult vapers from 2018 to 2022. To address this issue, a 'What's Really in a Vape' sculpture is displayed, emphasising vaping's dangers

Vaping awareness sculpture

To help tackle the issue locally, West Gippsland Healthcare Group and Baw Baw Shire Council have partnered to bring VicHealth's innovative 'What's Really in a Vape?' sculpture to the West Gippsland Arts Centre on loan from 6 to 27 November 2023. Recently on display at Melbourne's Scienceworks, the sculpture reveals the secret dangers that lurk within e-cigarettes or 'vapes'.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Annemarie McCabe - herself a paramedic and no stranger to the potential negative health impacts of smoking and vaping - hopes the sculpture will raise awareness of the true harm that vaping poses, especially amongst young people. "The health of our young people features as a priority area of council's Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan," says Cr McCabe. "Unfortunately, many people - and young people in particular - aren't aware of the dangers of vaping, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that vapes aren't labelled with what's inside them."

"Vapes can contain more than 200 harmful chemicals, including chemicals like those used in weed killer, paint stripper and bleach. This sculpture makes it all plain for anyone to see. I think it will be a great tool to help people better understand what they're exposing themselves to when they vape," Cr McCabe said.

Vaping education initiative

The sculpture's temporary residency at WGAC will be supplemented by a free public education session delivered by the Founder and Director of Drug Education Australia Sharon Torpey on Thursday 16 November at 6.30pm at WGAC - bookings essential - visit and book via Younger People and Vaping page as well as targeted sessions for year 7, 8 and 9 students organised in conjunction with local schools.

West Gippsland Healthcare Group Acting Chief Executive Officer Trish O'Kelly encouraged the community to come along. "Smoking and vaping both pose serious health concerns, especially for our young people. "In hospitals, we see the consequences of teen vaping. We see young people presenting with lung issues and addiction. Understanding the risks and harm is important for our community. Come along to this free information night, check out the unique vape sculpture on display and help us to continue to build a healthier community in West Gippsland."

'What's Really in a Vape' is free for all members of the public to view during WGAC operating hours. For more information about the dangers of vaping, residents are invited to register for the free educational session and to visit Get the facts on vaping page.

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


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