Australia has announced a broad crackdown on vaping, accusing tobacco companies of encouraging young people to create a new “generation of nicotine addicts”.
Australia announced a broad crackdown on the use of voting Tuesday, accusing tobacco companies of pushing teenagers to create a new “generation of nicotine addicts”.
Billed as one of the biggest anti-tobacco reforms in a decade, Australia will move to single-use disposable vapes and control the number of such devices without a prescription and the amount of nicotine e-cigarettes can contain.
Australia is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate tobacco, and in 2012 the country was the first to introduce “plain packaging” laws, which have been copied from the UK, France, nd other countries.
With heavy tobacco sales taxes, the cost of cigarettes in Australia is among the most expensive in the world, priced at around $33 for a $25 pack.
It also has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing, but has seen an increase in people under the age of twenty-five starting to smoke.
Recently in Australia, efforts have been made to contain recreational vaping explosions, especially among young people.
“Vaping has become a number one way of doing things in schools. And it’s spreading to primary schools,” Health Minister Mark Butler said in a speech.
“As it happened with tobacco, the tobacco industry took another addictive product, wrapped it in packages, and added flavors to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
Vapers will still be available for purchase, but with a prescription, as a smoking cessation tool.
The government’s reforms have been praised by the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Cancer Council.
It is theoretically illegal to buy e-cigarettes without a prescription in Australia, but in practice, they are readily available in stores across the country.
A 2022 study from the Australian National University found that teens who vaped were three times more likely to start smoking.
“Nicotine use in children and adolescents can lead to lifelong addiction, as well as depression and learning difficulties,” the researchers noted.
Cancer Council Australia head Tanya Buchanan said we are facing a “vaping epidemic” and have a small window of opportunity to control it.
He commented that e-cigarettes are not safe and threaten “Australia’s gains in reducing smoking rates”.