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Australian Government Announces Total Ban on Non-Prescription Vaping Products to Curb Youth Vaping

Australian Government Announces Total Ban on Non-Prescription Vaping Products to Curb Youth Vaping 

The Australian government has announced a total ban on non-prescription vaping products, including those without nicotine, in an effort to curb youth vaping. The legislation, considered to be the most significant tobacco and vaping control measures in a decade, follows last week’s crackdown on illegal vaping. To tackle youth vaping, minimum quality standards for vapes will be introduced, including the restriction of flavors, colors, and other ingredients. Vape products will require pharmaceutical-like packaging, and the allowed nicotine concentrations and volumes will be reduced. All single-use, disposable vapes will also be banned.

According to The Guardian, the Australian health minister, Mark Butler, speaking on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, said that the tobacco industry was trying to create a “new generation of nicotine addicts” through vaping and that he was “determined to stamp out this public health menace.” The move follows an inquiry into vaping reforms led by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), with submissions from health professional bodies, public health associations, individual health professionals, and university researchers that overwhelmingly support tightening border controls and pushing for non-prescription vaping measures.

Many public health experts and bodies submitted to the inquiry that border controls should also be placed on non-nicotine vaping products to prevent mislabelling and exploitation of import loopholes. The government will also work with states and territories to end vape sales in convenience stores and other retailers. Prescriptions for nicotine vaping products for smokers trying to quit tobacco will be made easier to obtain, with stronger standards around the vaping products that can be bought in pharmacies so people can be assured of the content of the products.

Butler said he would expand on the reforms in a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday, where he is expected to say that vaping has become “the biggest loophole in Australian history” and announce that the following Tuesday’s federal budget will include AUD 234 million in funding for tobacco and vaping reforms, the biggest since plain packaging of tobacco products was introduced.

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