Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Vaping Action Plan

The Hon. S.L. GAME (14:29): I seek leave to make a brief explanation prior to addressing a question to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Education, Training and Skills, on vaping in South Australia.

Leave granted.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. S.L. GAME: Recall that under the current state and federal governments' vaping regulations, which includes prohibiting them for all but the tiny minority of those who go to the onerous lengths of obtaining a doctor's prescription, youth vaping has skyrocketed whilst lawful access for adults is severely restricted.

The Vaping Action Plan for schools was announced by the state education minister on 7 November 2022, and this includes $2.29 million to fund Life Education SA and Encounter Youth to deliver preventative education programs to students. However, the remainder of the plan's costings have not been announced, so it's unclear from the minister's media release on that day what the total cost of the action plan is. For example, the following uncosted items are listed in the action plan:

updating the health and physical education curriculum;

a new public health campaign, including fact sheets, posters and updating the education department website;

a partnership with Drug and Alcohol Services Australia, Quitline, the Cancer Council, and the Commissioner for Children and Young People to develop new training for school staff; and

incorporating wellbeing supports and working with families when students are found to be vaping to assist them in breaking the addiction.

I understand that the installation of a vape detectors in school bathrooms is also under consideration. My questions to the minister are:

1. How much will the overall Vaping Action Plan content and delivery cost?

2. Does the minister believe it is appropriate to spend significant taxpayer funds on programs to reduce youth vaping, when it could instead amend our state's laws, which would starve the black market and introduce a regulatory model that has successfully reduced youth vaping in other Western countries?

3. Does the minister agree with concerns that installing vape detectors in students' bathrooms is a breach of privacy, human rights and trust between teachers and students?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:32): I thank the honourable member for her questions and will refer them to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.