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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

TikTokers are the next weapon in government's vape war

Comedians, athletes, Twitch streamers and other influencers will partner with the federal government for its online anti-vaping campaign.

Social media influencers and sports stars have been recruited for the federal government's war on vaping, ahead of a new tranche of e-cigarette restrictions.

TikTok comedians Jaxon and Lachlan Fairbairn, cricketer Ellyse Perry and gamer JackBuzza are among a host of influencers who will lead Labor's new youth anti-vaping campaign.

Many already have significant followings, particularly amongst the age demographics most likely to pick up vaping, and Health Minister Mark Butler says they will help spark conversation about the use of e-cigarettes.

"It's pretty clear that teenagers don't watch TV or listen to health ministers, much as I might like them to, which is why we've partnered with influencers that young people listen to," he said on Wednesday.

Government data shows TikTok hosts more than 18 billion vape posts.

Pro-vaping content plagues the corners of the internet frequented by young people.

According to government data, TikTok hosts more than 18 billion vape posts - many of which show content creators doing "vape tricks".

Instagram is similarly home to more than 18,000 influencers dedicated to pro-vaping content.

"We know that a lot of our peers vape, so it's important to us that we support a campaign that will educate people on the harms of vaping and help them seek support if they want it," Mr Fairbairn said.

Ms Perry added that she was keen to join the campaign.

"As a professional athlete, I know that even occasional vape use would have significant consequences for both mental and physical performance on and off the field," she said.

Actress Ella Watkins, surfers Zahlia and Shyla Short, diver Sam Fricker, businesswoman Lottie Dalziel and Twitch streamer HeyImZed are also part of the government's campaign.

From Friday, new restrictions come into effect banning the importation of all vapes without a licence and permit, which are aimed at ending personal importation schemes and improving quality and safety standards for therapeutic vapes.

Since the government's January 1 ban on importing single-use vapes, more than 360,000 vapes worth almost $11 million have been seized by the Australian Border Force and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The government is also set to introduce legislation preventing the domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes.


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