Do you know what you're vaping?

E-cigarettes may expose people to chemicals and toxins at levels that have the potential to cause serious health effects, including increased risk of depression and anxiety. Vaping has already been linked to lung disease and can expose people to:

  • the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray
  • toxins such as formaldehyde and heavy metals
  • ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • flavouring chemicals such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to serious lung disease)
  • the device has been known to explode causing serious burns.

Vaping and young people

The take-up of e-cigarettes by young people in particular is increasing. A survey of 13-to-19-year-olds by South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People (in 2022) found that 2 in 3 young people had tried vaping, with almost 1 in 4 describing themselves as a regular vaper.

You can help protect young people by learning about the different types of e-cigarettes and the health risks they incur.

  • Many vapes contain nicotine making them very addictive
  • The nicotine in 1 vape can be equivalent to 50 cigarettes
  • Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to start smoking cigarettes
  • Vaping has been linked to serious lung disease
  • Vape aerosol is not water vapour

Vaping and schools

Knowing the facts about vaping is part of South Australia’s approach to respond to e-cigarette use in schools. South Australian schools are required to be smoke-free (including vaping). Schools are further supported through e-cigarette content in curriculum, evidence-based resources, funded external programs, training and support.

Find out more about how the Department for Education manages alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in schools.

About this information

This information has been adapted from NSW Health for Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) and the SA Department for Education. The campaign and resources are underpinned by evidence. For more information about the evidence for the campaign and toolkit resources read the  Vaping evidence summary.

Tobacco and e-cigarette/vape reporting form – feedback or complaints

You can complete the online Tobacco and e-cigarette/vape reporting form to provide feedback or make a complaint related to:

  • the illegal sale of e-cigarette products (eg e-cigarettes containing nicotine, sales to a minor, unlicensed business)
  • the illegal sale of tobacco products (eg chop chop, sale to a minor, unlicensed business)
  • smoking or vaping in designated smoke-free areas
  • advertising and promotion
  • display of tobacco products at point of sale
  • packaging.