The proposed changes announced by Federal Minister for Health, Mark Butler, regarding a crackdown on non-prescription vapes, also known as e-cigarettes, is very welcome news. The use of vapes is having a shocking effect on the health of young people in particular, with many using them as a recreational product despite the serious long-term health impacts. Moreover the addictive nature of these products leads to a higher usage of cigarettes when older.
The Federal Government blocking the importation of non-prescription vapes and restricting flavours and high-nicotine cartridges will go a long way to ensure people don’t have easy access to them and help stamp out recreational use. Indeed these changes will strengthen the inadequate protections around e-cigarettes and return them to their original purpose as a prescribed therapeutic product to help smokers quit.
The Government now needs to get on with providing a timeline and ensure a Border Force has the resources it needs to stop the importation of vapes. I offer these comments not just as a Member of Parliament, but also as the father and step-father of adolescents exposed to vapes just about every day.