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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Australian authorities cracks down on smoking and vaping

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CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s tobacco tax might be elevated by billions of {dollars} over the subsequent 4 years as the federal government cracks down on smoking and vaping.

Leisure vaping might be banned as the federal government seeks to stop the subsequent era from changing into hooked on nicotine, Well being Minister Mark Butler stated Tuesday.

The tobacco tax could be raised by 5% a 12 months ranging from September, Butler stated — a complete improve of three.3 billion Australian {dollars} ($2.2 billion) over 4 years. This follows an AU$234-million ($157-million) enhance for more durable regulation of e-cigarettes, together with new controls on their importation and packaging.

The federal government will work with the states and territories to close down the sale of vapes in retail and comfort shops and make it simpler to get a prescription for therapeutic use.

To deal with the rising black market, the federal government will improve the product requirements for vapes, together with by proscribing flavors and colours. It should require pharmaceutical-like packaging, a discount within the most allowed nicotine concentrations and volumes and a ban on single-use vapes.

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Butler cited kids below 4 reported to Victoria state’s poisons hotline after they used a vape to provide an concept of the dimensions of the general public well being subject.

“This can be a product focused at our youngsters,” Butler stated. “Vaping has develop into the No. 1 behavioral subject in excessive colleges, and it’s changing into widespread in main colleges. This should finish.”

Butler stated the hard-won good points in public well being regarding the discount in smoking may very well be undone by the “new risk.”

Steve Robson, president of the Australian Medical Affiliation, the nation’s main docs group, backed the transfer. “We all know the brand new younger era of Australians are being hooked on vapes and this can be a nice initiative,” he stated.

Alcohol and Drug Basis CEO Erin Lalor stated most individuals vaping in Australia had been utilizing unregulated merchandise, with no concept what was in them.

“Some individuals who vape, together with younger folks, could also be unknowingly consuming nicotine and have shaped a dependence,” she stated.

An AU$63-million ($42-million) public well being marketing campaign might be launched to discourage Australians from taking on vaping and encourage those that already need to give up. Assist packages serving to Australians give up vaping might be bolstered by an funding of AU$30 million ($20 million), and schooling amongst well being practitioners about smoking and nicotine cessation might be strengthened. The federal government will commit an additional AU$140 million ($94 million) for a program serving to Indigenous folks give up smoking, which might be expanded to incorporate vaping.

Australia has one of many lowest smoking charges among the many Group for Financial Cooperation and Growth nations, with 11.2% of Australians 15 and over smoking in 2019, based on authorities statistics.



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