National & International

Australia to Vapes: You’re Disposable, Not the Youth!

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Australia is set to implement a ban on disposable vape imports starting January, aiming to combat nicotine addiction among children.

New legislation will extend to preventing the production, advertising, and supply of single-use vapes within the country, aligning with broader efforts to completely phase out recreational vaping. Despite vaping being promoted as a smoking cessation aid, Australia’s health minister argues that it has fostered a “new generation of nicotine dependency.”

Vapes, or e-cigarettes, operate on lithium batteries and house cartridges filled with nicotine-infused liquids, artificial flavourings, and various other chemicals. Although it has been illegal for Australians to purchase or import e-cigarettes without a doctor’s prescription since 2021, rates of addiction have continued to surge.

A study by the University of Sydney revealed that over 25% of teenagers aged 14-17 had vaped, and research from Australia’s Cancer Council indicated that nine out of 10 teens in the same age group found it easy to access nicotine vapes.

Mark Butler, the federal health minister leading the ban, emphasized the commitment of all Australian governments to address the concerning rise in vaping among young people. The import ban on disposable vapes is set to begin on January 1, with refillable non-therapeutic vapes facing a similar restriction by March.

Importers and manufacturers providing therapeutic vapes will also encounter stricter government regulations regarding the flavours, nicotine levels, and packaging of their products. Despite the ongoing debate surrounding vaping’s long-term impacts, Australia joins a growing movement against its proliferation, following New Zealand’s recent decision to overturn its world-leading smoking ban for tax cuts.

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