Australia to Ban Non-Prescription Vapes in Major Reform
On May 1st, according to a report from The Guardian, Australian Health Minister Mark Butler announced that the government will ban the importation of non-prescription electronic cigarette products. The government will also establish minimum quality standards which will include restricting e-cigarette flavors, packaging colors, and other ingredients. Similar to pharmaceuticals, packaging will indicate reduced nicotine concentration and capacity. Additionally, single-use e-cigarettes will be explicitly prohibited.
Determined to eliminate the "public health threat".
A previous investigation was conducted by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on the regulation reform of e-cigarettes within the country. The majority of materials submitted by relevant health organizations supported increasing border control.
They believe that the focus of border control is on non-nicotine electronic cigarette products.
Electronic cigarette manufacturers have falsely labeled products containing nicotine as "nicotine-free" to circumvent import restrictions.
This makes it easy for children to buy electronic cigarettes and often unknowingly inhale nicotine, leading to addiction.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Butler, said in a television program that the tobacco industry is attempting to create a "new generation of nicotine addicts" through the production of e-cigarettes. He stated that he is determined to eliminate this public health threat.
The Australian government will collaborate with states and territories to put an end to the sale of electronic cigarettes in convenience stores and other retail shops. They will also establish stricter guidelines for the sale of e-cigarette products in pharmacies, in order to ensure the contents are safe for consumers.
The largest loophole in Australian history
Butler is expected to outline these reforms in a speech at the National Press Club. According to a leaked copy of the speech, Butler believes that e-cigarettes have become "the biggest loophole in Australian history" and has announced that the government will invest AUD 234 million (approximately RMB 1.07 billion) into reforms relating to tobacco and e-cigarettes.
The speech by Butler stated that electronic cigarettes are being marketed as a therapeutic product to governments and communities around the world to aid long-term smokers in quitting.
It was never intended to be sold as an entertainment product, especially not one suitable for our children. But that is what it has become: the biggest loophole in Australian history.
A sum of 63 million Australian dollars (approximately 289 million yuan) will be utilized for public health advocacy campaigns aimed at preventing smoking and the use of e-cigarettes while also promoting smoking cessation.
Additionally, 30 million Australian dollars (approximately 138 million Chinese yuan) will be invested in a support program to help Australians quit smoking, and there will be an increased effort to educate and train healthcare professionals on smoking cessation and nicotine addiction.
According to Terry Slevin, CEO of the Australian Public Health Association, the upcoming reforms by the Australian government describe electronic cigarettes as a "public health disaster". He stated that the reforms will make Australia a world leader in controlling tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Laura Hunter, joint CEO of the Australian Smoking and Health Council, says it is encouraging to see the government take decisive action against a harmful industry.
She stated that the government's plan is largely normalizing the culture of e-cigarettes.
Australia may implement a complete ban on imported electronic cigarettes.
An Australian state plans to broaden the scope of smoke-free public spaces and double fines for selling e-cigarettes to minors.
Australia to introduce plain packaging and flavor bans, and strengthen border control measures.
Australia is set to implement its most significant smoking reforms in a decade by banning the sale of non-prescription vapes.
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