Australian health ministers unite in support for non-therapeutic vape ban-Xinhua

Australian health ministers unite in support for non-therapeutic vape ban

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-19 09:16:30

CANBERRA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Australia's states and territories have thrown their support behind a push by the federal government to ban the commercial sale of vapes.

Proposed laws introduced to parliament by Mark Butler, the federal Minister for Health, in March would outlaw the domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes.

In a statement released on Thursday, Butler and the health ministers of all eight of Australia's states and territories urged members of the federal parliament to support the legislation.

"If vapes are therapeutic goods then it is entirely appropriate that Australia should regulate them as therapeutic goods, instead of allowing them to be sold alongside chocolate bars in convenience stores, often down the road from schools," they said.

"Australian health ministers are not going to stand by and let our kids get hooked on nicotine."

According to a study published by the Department of Health in May 2023, 14.5 percent of Australians aged 14-17 and 19.8 percent of those aged 18-24 use vapes.

Under the proposed laws, vapes would still be available through pharmacies with a prescription.

The legislation marks the third stage of the government's vaping reforms after the import of disposable, single-use vapes was banned from Jan. 1 and further import restrictions that were imposed from March 1.

The government in February revealed that since the Jan. 1 import ban came into effect authorities had seized more than 360,000 vapes.

Neither the Opposition Liberal Party nor the Australian Greens or National Party have declared their position on the legislation.

In order to have a majority of votes in the Senate to pass the legislation, the governing Labor Party would require the support of at least one of those parties.