CANBERRA: The Australian government has launched a new campaign encouraging people to quit smoking and vaping, reported Xinhua.

Mark Butler, the minister of health, on Monday announced a AU$63.4 million (US$41.7 million) advertising campaign to raise awareness about the harm of smoking and vaping.

The campaign marked the first time that the federal government has advertised to the public about the risks and harm of vaping, and its first national anti-smoking advertising campaign for almost 10 years.

The campaign will run across television, radio and social media. For the first time, TikTok will be used in a federal government advertising campaign.

“Nicotine is highly addictive and before you know it, what starts as an occasional thing becomes something much more serious. But it’s never too late to quit,“ Butler said in a statement.

According to non-governmental organisation, Cancer Council, tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia, accounting for 24,000 deaths every year.

The government’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey for 2022-23, which was released in February, found that 21 per cent of Australians, aged 18 to 24, and 9.7 per cent of those, aged 14 to 17, used an e-cigarette in the previous 12 months, up from 5.3 and 1.8 per cent in 2019, respectively.

Butler in March had introduced a legislation to parliament that would outlaw the domestic manufacturing, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes in Australia.

The government in January had banned the import of disposable, single-use vapes.