The Australian government announced that it would crackdown on e-cigarettes to "reduce smoking" and to "eradicate vaping". This is one of the biggest tobacco regulation moves the country has seen in recent years.
The proposal announced on Tuesday would ban all disposable, single-use vapes, stop the importation nonprescription vapes, require a 'pharmaceutical like packaging', reduce nicotine levels and concentrations, and restrict certain flavors and colors.
In a press release, the Department of Health and Aged Care stated that the federal government will also work with the states and territories in order to stop the sale of vapes at convenience stores and other retail locations 'while making it easier for legitimate therapeutic uses to obtain a prescription'.
In Australia, nicotine vapes can only be purchased with a prescription, but the black market is thriving, especially among young adults. Mark Butler, Australia's health minister, has said that while the outline of the proposal is still tentative, its long-term intention is clear.
In a speech delivered at the National Press Club of Australia, Mr. Butler stated that he wanted vaping to be used for the therapeutic purpose it was created to assist long-term tobacco users to quit. We were told that this would be a way out of smoking and not a way in. It has turned into that. This is what has been presented and sold so shamelessly.
Butler stated that the government is particularly concerned about'stamping out the notion that this product is just a product of recreation, and especially a product of recreational use for our children.'
He said, "I want to knock out that market."
E-cigarettes are considered beneficial by many health regulators. This includes the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. They offer an alternative for adult smokers who smoke traditional cigarettes that coat their lungs with tar. The regulators failed to take into account the fact that many vaping users are addicted to nicotine, and suffer from mysterious illnesses related vaping. The F.D.A. The F.D.A.
Mr. Butler stated that the Australian government has no plans to outlaw smoking or phase it out by birth year as New Zealand recently did when they banned cigarette sales for life to anyone born after 2008.
In its announcement, the government referred to the strategy as a "new national framework" for reducing the daily smoking rate in Australia.
Jim Chalmers will present the annual operating budget of Australia's federal government to Parliament on 9 May. The budget will include funding of 737 million Australian Dollars, or almost $492 million.
Budget will propose a tobacco tax increase of 5 percent per year, starting Sept. 1. This will generate an additional 3.3 billion Australian Dollars, or approximately $2.2 billion in revenue, over four years. Mr. Butler stated on Tuesday that this money would be invested primarily in the health care system of the country, including a national lung cancer screening programme, cancer treatment services for Indigenous groups, and programs that reduce smoking and vaping among First Nations Australians.
Butler stated that the goal of the initiative was to "shut down an important health risk for the younger generation of Australians."
He said: 'We know this because we are parents, uncles, aunts, and interact with school children. It is flourishing. Especially over the course Covid'. We are going to be forced to close down an industry and a market which has grown despite the fact that they weren't supposed to.
Nicole Lee, adjunct professor at Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute, is skeptical about the impact of this approach on the black-market. The shortage of primary doctors makes it less likely that vape users will get prescriptions, adding to the pressure on an already explosive black-market.
She said, 'We would like to see a reduction in access to the product and that people can use it to quit smoking.' "Quasi-banning it will only encourage the black market and give young people more access to nicotine replacement therapy."