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Sweet-scented and flavoured products in brightly-coloured packaging appeal to teenagers and children and imply that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes (Bigstock)

Catholic health providers and parent groups have welcomed a national crackdown on the illegal sales of vapes and e-cigarettes announced by Health Minister Mark Butler yesterday. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

The Albanese Government will ban the importation of non-prescription vaping products as well as single-use disposable vapes. It will also introduce regulatory restrictions on flavours, colours and attractive packaging to limit their appeal to young people and non-smokers.

It comes after a recent consultation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of health groups and the community.

Recent years have seen an explosion in sales of disposable e-cigarettes and pod devices containing cocktails of chemicals and in some cases dangerously high levels of nicotine.

Vape products containing liquid nicotine can only be legally purchased from chemists with a doctor’s prescription, for the purpose of quitting smoking.

But sweet-scented and flavoured products in brightly-coloured packaging can be found in other retail outlets such as convenience stores and tobacco shops, appealing to teenagers and children and implying that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.

James McLennan, smoking cessation training coordinator alcohol at St Vincent’s Health Network in Sydney, said that vaping devices and device liquids are “just too easy to access”.

“This provides a strong regulatory response to assist in reducing access,” he said. “These devices were never intended for use as consumer or recreational products.

“We’ve seen a proliferation of young people using these devices across Australia and a whole new generation becoming nicotine-addicted, that wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Catherine Garrett-Jones, executive director of the Catholic Council for School Parents NSW/ACT, said any move to provide a safer community environment for students is welcome.

“We are well aware that vaping is a big problem among our young people, and parents and carers are very concerned about the potential for their children and young people to access vapes as well as a lack of understanding about what is actually in them and what the health risks are,” she said.


Catholic parents and agencies welcome vapes crackdown (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)