Australia to ban nicotine-free vapes to end recreational use

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Vaping will be more strictly regulated in Australia under new legislation

Olaf Schuelke / Alamy

The Australian government will seek to stamp out recreational vaping by banning nicotine-free vapes and only allowing prescription ones to be sold in medical-style packaging containing nicotine.

“Vaping is creating a new generation of nicotine dependents in our community,” Australia’s health minister Mark Butler said in a statement. Press release On 2 May. “This is a major threat to Australia’s success in tobacco control.”

From 2021, Australia only allows vapes containing nicotine to be sold by pharmacies to people who have been prescribed by a doctor to help them quit smoking. However, nicotine-free vapes are legally available for purchase at convenience stores, petrol stations and other retailers.

Because these nicotine-free vapes are difficult to regulate, “there are many cases in which products are falsely labeled as nicotine-free or simply do not list nicotine in the ingredients, even though it says ” oliver jones at RMIT University in Melbourne.

These nicotine-containing products, which often come in glossy packaging with fruit flavors, are appealing to youth, says becky freeman at the University of Sydney. According to a national survey, In 2019, 5.3 percent of people aged 18 to 24 were using e-cigarettes – almost double the rate in 2016 – and research shows that those using them are three times as likely to smoke,

“Although vapes were first introduced as a tool to help adults quit or reduce smoking, these devices are largely used by youth who are current or ever-users of tobacco. are not,” says Courtney Barnes at Newcastle University in Australia.

To try to address this, the government will ban nicotine-free vapes and tighten regulations for prescription-only nicotine vapes: reducing the amount of nicotine allowed in them, restricting flavors and colors and banning them HOGA is sold in pharmaceutical appearing packaging. Single use disposable vapes will be banned.

“These are considered pharmaceutical products, so they must be presented as such – no more bubblegum flavors or pink unicorn packaging,” Butler said in a statement. speech at the National Press Club of Australia on 2 May. A timeline for implementation has not been announced.

Australia has one of the world’s lowest smoking rates, with only 11 percent of people over the age of 15 smoke daily, It has achieved this by introducing mandatory plain packaging for cigarettes with graphic health warnings, increasing their cost through taxes, and banning smoking in many public areas.

Butler said cracking down on recreational vaping was key to preventing these benefits from being undone. “We will not stand by and allow vaping to create another generation of nicotine addicts.”

Jones says, “While there could be potential unintended effects of this decision, for example banning vaping could lead to people reverting to traditional cigarettes, which are clearly worse, I think this is unlikely and Hence today’s announcement is a welcome step by the government.”


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