Australia proposed on Tuesday to strengthen laws on e-cigarettes, including introducing new controls on importation and packaging to stamp out vaping, especially among children, in the biggest crackdown on e-cigarettes. tobacco industry for over a decade.
The federal government will take action to ban all disposable vapes and the importation of non-prescription vapes, restrict flavors and colors, and reduce permitted levels of nicotine, aiming to ensure that vapes are only sold as products to help smokers to quit.
“Just like they did with smoking, Big Tobacco took another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added flavors to create a new generation of nicotine addicts,” the Minister of Nicotine will say. Health Mark Butler in a speech to the National Press Club, excerpts of which were seen by Reuters.
Under the new rules, vapes will have to have pharmaceutical-grade packaging.
Vaping, widely considered a safer alternative to cigarettes and a product to help smokers quit, involves heating a liquid containing nicotine in what is called an electronic cigarette and turning it into a vapor that users inhale.
But Butler will say vaping has now become a recreational product, sold primarily to teenagers and young people.
“It’s a product for our children, sold with lollipops and chocolate bars,” Butler will say. “Vaping has become the number one behavioral problem in high schools. And it’s going mainstream in elementary schools.”
The federal budget, due out next week, will include A$234 million ($155 million) to fund new measures to protect against harm from tobacco and vaping products, according to excerpts from the speech.
Australia has one of the strictest anti-smoking laws in the world after the country forced producers in 2012 to abandon a separate colored brand and sell their cigarettes in uniformly drab packs with no embellishments.
Tobacco companies quickly switched to e-cigarettes offering different flavors and created models targeting a new generation of users.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)