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Stage 1 - Understanding local context

We used a co-design approach for the first stage of the project. This means children and young people shaped the direction of the project. They told us about their smoking and vaping behaviours and attitudes. We talked to people in the following ways:

  • Survey

    372 young people completed the Let's Talk survey

  • School sessions

    186 students participated in education and engagement sessions at schools

  • Youth Council

    The City's Youth Council gave guidance on the project

  • Stakeholder reference group

    We worked in partnership with a stakeholder reference group. Members include Bendigo Community Health Services, Bendigo Health, Heathcote Health, Department of Education, Sports Focus and several City business units

Stage 2 – Peer-to-peer messaging

The work in Stage 1 helped us identify three key action areas to reduce harm from vaping and smoking:

  1. Community education
  2. Increased information and awareness
  3. Regulation of existing laws

Art competition

We held a competition to get young people to develop peer to peer messaging at the end of 2023. We received 76 entries talking about the harmful effects of smoking and vaping. The content created will be used for a series of social media campaigns.

Actions we are taking

Project partners from the stakeholder reference group developed a workplan with actions to:

  • Improve community knowledge about vaping and smoking
  • Increase community members’ awareness of the impacts of vaping and smoking
  • Communicate responsibilities when vaping and smoking and supports available to quit
  • Increase community awareness of health support services
  • Reduce exposure to smoking, vaping and passive intake with public space bans

How was this project funded?

The City received funding through VicHealth. It allowed us to undertake a project to engage with young people on a range of issues on smoking and vaping.