Australia outlawed vaping for recreational purposes and tightened other aspects of e-cigarette laws on Tuesday, as part of the largest crackdown on the tobacco industry in more than a decade, to curb the alarming rise in adolescent vaping.
The government intends to ban all fruit-flavored disposable vapes, prohibit the import of non-prescription vapes. And limit nicotine levels to restrict the sale of vapes to aid smokers in quitting.
In a speech to the National Press Club, Health Minister Mark Butler stated, “Just as they did with cigarettes, Big Tobacco has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging, and added flavors to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
Under the new regulations, vapes will only be sold in pharmacies and must be packaged in “pharmaceutical-type” containers.
Vaping involves heating a nicotine-containing liquid in an e-cigarette and inhaling the vapour.
However, research has demonstrated that e-cigarettes may cause long-term damage.
This product is aimed at children and is sold alongside candy and chocolate bars, according to Butler. “Vaping is now the leading behavioral problem in high schools. It is also becoming more prevalent in elementary institutions.” Doctors applauded the vaping restrictions but urged the government to do more to decrease youth vaping.
The president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Nicole Higgins, stated that nicotine vaping products are being marketed with colorful flavors and animated characters similar to those found on children’s breakfast cereals.
Last year, 22% of Australians aged 18–24 used an e-cigarette or vaping device.
In Australia, nicotine vapes require a prescription, but a flourishing black market makes them readily available.
The federal budget would contain A$234 million ($155 million) for tobacco and vaporizer protection the following week.
Australia has one of the world’s strictest anti-smoking laws.
It was the first country to require cigarette makers to offer their goods in plain packaging in 2012.
Some nations have attempted to restrict vaping, while others view it as an effective method for encouraging smokers to quit.
Britain announced in April that up to one million smokers would be encouraged to switch to vaping, a first in the world, by providing financial incentives for pregnant women and e-cigarette starter supplies.