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Quit and Cancer Council Victoria applaud announcement of extended vaping regulations

Posted 1 Mar, 2024

Quit and Cancer Council Victoria have expressed support for the announcement from Minister Mark Butler this week on a comprehensive parcel of regulations designed to prevent illegal sale of nicotine vaping products to never smokers, combined with recent measures to improve access  to supports to quit.  

Rachael Andersen, Quit Director, reminded people that they were not alone in quitting. “People who vape, especially younger people, are victims of a harmful industry intent on hooking them on nicotine. While it may seem like a steep hill to climb, quitting is possible, and Quitline services stand ready to help you.” 

On January 1 the Federal Government introduced a ban on the import of disposable, single-use vapes, made it easier for healthcare professionals to prescribe vapes for people to quit smoking and allocated close to $30M in the Budget to bolster quitting services.  

Today’s latest wave of vaping reforms include: 

  • A ban on the import of all non-therapeutic vaping products (including non-nicotine vaping products which are making it so hard for authorities to enforce existing laws) 

  • Better safety requirements for all vaping devices  

  • Requirement for importers to have a customs licence and permit, and to confirm with government that products meet required minimum standards 

    *Non-therapeutic vapes in Australia before March 1 are still able to be sold to adults, provided they don’t contain nicotine.  

Todd Harper, CEO Cancer Council Victoria said, “The vaping epidemic is a public health crisis which disproportionately impacts young people, most of whom have never smoked [1]. We know that non-therapeutic vaping isn’t safe. Today’s reforms serve to reinforce to the community that vaping is a tangible risk to their health and we hope should spur them to think about quitting.” 

Rachael Andersen added the organisation looked forward to a future without vaping stores, and further vaping reforms anticipated later in 2024. “Today’s reforms are a big step forward. But crucially we await the end to sales and supply of vaping products outside the medical prescription arrangements. With proper enforcement and co-operation and combined with education and support, this should see an end to the epidemic of vaping among young Australians. This can’t come soon enough.”   

In 2022-2023 current use of vapes by Australians aged over 14 almost tripled from 2.5% in 2019 to 7%, and increased from 4.5% to 18% among those aged 15-24. One in five (19.8%) people reported having vaped at least once in their life, up from 11.3% in 20192.  Among those aged 15-24, that figure was 43% [2]. 

Media contact:
Prue Gildea
M: 0400 394 274

[1] Among people aged 15–24 who were ever vapers in 2022-23, the majority—more than 60%-- had never smoked before vaping for the first time. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2022–2023   

[2] Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2022–2023 

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