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Australia to ban nicotine-free vapes in push to finish leisure use



Vaping shall be extra tightly regulated below new laws in Australia

Olaf Schuelke/Alamy

The Australian authorities will attempt to stamp out leisure vaping by banning nicotine-free vapes and solely permitting these with nicotine to be offered by pharmacies in medical-style packaging to folks with prescriptions.

“Vaping is creating a whole new generation of nicotine dependency in our community,” Australia’s well being minister Mark Butler mentioned in a press launch on 2 Could. “It poses a major threat to Australia’s success in tobacco control.”

Since 2021, Australia has solely allowed nicotine-containing vapes to be offered by pharmacies to individuals who have been prescribed them by a health care provider to assist them stop smoking. Nevertheless, nicotine-free vapes have been legally that can be purchased at comfort shops, petrol stations and different retailers.

As a result of these nicotine-free vapes are tough to control, “there are many cases of products being falsely labelled as nicotine-free or simply not listing nicotine in the ingredients even when it is there”, says Oliver Jones at RMIT College in Melbourne.

These nicotine-containing merchandise, which frequently are available vivid packaging with fruity flavours, are getting younger folks hooked, says Becky Freeman on the College of Sydney. In accordance with a nationwide survey, 5.3 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds have been utilizing e-cigarettes in 2019 – virtually double the speed in 2016 – and analysis suggests these utilizing them are 3 times as more likely to take up smoking.

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

To attempt to deal with this, the federal government will ban nicotine-free vapes and tighten the principles for prescription-only nicotine vapes: the quantity of nicotine they’re allowed to comprise shall be decreased, flavours and colourings shall be restricted they usually should be offered in pharmaceutical-looking packaging. Single-use disposable vapes shall be banned.

“These are supposed to be pharmaceutical products, so they will have to present that way – no more bubblegum flavours or pink unicorn packaging,” mentioned Butler in a speech to Australia’s Nationwide Press Membership on 2 Could. A timeline for implementation has not been introduced.

Australia has one of many world’s lowest smoking charges, with solely 11 per cent of individuals over 15 smoking each day. It has achieved this by introducing necessary plain packaging for cigarettes with graphic well being warnings, growing their value by way of taxes and banning smoking in lots of public areas.

Butler mentioned that cracking down on leisure vaping was essential to cease these features from being undone. “We will not stand by and allow vaping to create another generation of nicotine addicts.”

“While there may be potential unintended effects of this decision, for example restricting vaping might drive people back to traditional cigarettes, which are obviously worse, I think these are unlikely and so today’s announcement is a welcome move by the government,” says Jones.


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