Take 5: E-cigs and sheesha challenge smoking prevention

2 minute read

Australia now has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the world, but the battle against tobacco is far from over


Australia has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the world,but the battle against tobacco is far from over.

Paul Dillon, the director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, is worried that new forms of smoking – such as the socially-acceptable sheesha and purportedly safe e-cigarettes – are undermining hitherto successful health messaging.

“We have done a very good job around smoking rates in this country,” he says.

“We do have the lowest rates of daily tobacco smoking in the world and we are not seeing those rates increase.”

But both sheesa and e-cigarettes challenge anti-smoking messages, such as smoking being anti-social and unglamorous.

“Sheesha is very much seen as a social thing to do,” says Mr Dillon.

“You go to a sheesha bar with your friends. In terms of e-cigarettes, it is promoted – using very aggressive marketing, particularly in the states – as a very glamorous thing to do.”

In this five-minute video, Mr Dillon explores the following topics:

– What is the state of smoking prevention efforts in Australia?

– Why are sheesha and e-cigarettes posing problems for smoking prevention efforts?

– What do we know about young people’s use of sheesha and e-cigarettes?

– What is the law around sheesa and e-cigarettes?

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