The Australian government has announced measures to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to pharmacies, outlaw recreational vaping, and institute minimum quality requirements.
Australia already requires a prescription for nicotine vapes, but the market is poorly controlled and a black market is thriving.
According to 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 vapor that users inhale, with the liquid typically containing nicotine. They are frequently viewed as a product to aid smokers in giving up.
According to Butler, in Australia, vapes have developed into a kid-targeted recreational product that is “sold alongside lollipops and chocolate bars” in grocery stores.
He will make the announcement of the reform in a speech on Tuesday. “Just like they did with smoking, ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging, and added flavors to create a new generation of nicotine addicts,” he will say.
Because they don’t contain harmful tobacco, vaporizers are regarded as safer than traditional cigarettes. Health professionals caution that vapes are not risk-free because they frequently include chemicals and because it is yet unclear what their long-term effects will be.
However, the Australian government contends that they pose a threat to public health, one that disproportionately affects children and young adults.
He will unveil new regulations that include a prohibition on the importation of non-prescription items as well as a restriction on all disposable vapes.
For vaping items to remain legal, prescriptions will be required, and they must come in packaging that resembles that of a pharmacy. There will also be new restrictions on the flavors, colors, levels of nicotine, and other ingredients.
In addition, Butler claims that the government will work to make it simpler for people to obtain a prescription for “legitimate therapeutic use”.
Vaping is prohibited in a small number of other nations, including Singapore and Thailand, and Australia’s pharmaceutical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, has been advocating reform.