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Australia To Ban Recreational Vaping, Calling It A Health Hazard

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Australia will ban recreational vaping as part of a broad campaign against what experts call an “epidemic” in the industry. Additionally, minimum quality requirements will be implemented, and only pharmacies will be allowed to sell vapes.

Australia already requires a prescription for nicotine vapes, but the sector is unregulated and the black market is growing. According to Australia’s Health Minister Mark Butler, the items are fostering a new generation of nicotine addicts.

Vapes, also referred to as e-cigarettes, heat a liquid into a vapour that users inhale, with the liquid typically containing nicotine. They are frequently viewed as a product to aid smokers in giving up. But they have become extremely popular in Australia as a recreational product, especially among young people in urban areas.

In a speech announcing reforms on Tuesday, Butler said “Just like they did with smoking… ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added sweet flavours to create a new generation of nicotine addicts. We have been duped.”

Because they don’t contain harmful tobacco, vapes are thought to be safer than regular cigarettes. In fact, the UK government is giving them away for free to some smokers as part of its “swap to stop” programme.

The Australian government claims they pose a hazard to public health, particularly among young people, many of whom have never smoked.

Butler,52, said, “Only 1 in 70 people my age has vaped”.

According to research, 1 in 6 Australians between the ages of 14 and 17 and 1 in 4 Australians between the ages of 18 and 24 use vape.

He claimed that the goods are easily accessible “alongside lollies and chocolate bars” at retail stores and that they are purposefully marketed for children.

Vaping had developed into the “number one behavioural issue” in high schools, he continued. Vape detectors have reportedly started to be installed in restrooms, according to Australian media.

The federal government would collaborate with state and territory governments on potential fines for e-cigarette possession unless a prescription had been given, according to the health minister.

The strictest anti-smoking regulations in the world are already in place in Australia. On Tuesday, Butler linked the new vape rules to the measures taken to get Australia’s cigarette smoking rate down to one of the lowest levels among industrialised nations.

The changes include a restriction on the import of non-prescription items and a prohibition on all disposable vapes.

The vaping goods that are still permitted will need prescriptions, and their packaging must resemble that of a pharmacy. There will also be new restrictions on the flavours, colours, levels of nicotine, and other ingredients.

“No more bubble-gum flavours, pink unicorns or vapes disguised as highlighter pens for kids to hide them in their pencil cases,” He said.

He did add, though, that the government will also make it simpler for individuals to obtain a prescription for “legitimate therapeutic use”.

A later date will be specified for the release of an implementation schedule.

A few other nations, like Singapore and Thailand, have also outlawed vaping, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia’s regulatory body for pharmaceuticals, has been advocating reform.

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