Social Issues

Australia to ban recreational vaping

Sydney, Australia, May 2 (EFE).- The Australian government announced on Tuesday a bill to ban recreational vaping, described as a “major threat” to the country’s public health, and restricting it to therapeutic use.

The bill includes a ban on the import of over-the-counter and single-use vapes, as well as measures to restrict both the nicotine concentration of these products, as well as colors and flavors, Health Minister Mark Butler said in an address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

In addition, vapes will only be sold in pharmacies and with a prescription, and will come in packages similar to medicines and be accompanied by medical warnings.

“Vaping was sold to governments and communities around the world as a therapeutic product to help long-term smokers quit. It was not sold as a recreational product – especially not one targeted to our kids but that is what it has become,” said Butler.

According to the minister, this measure would help prevent vaping in younger populations, among whom increased consumption has been detected.

In Australia, one in four people between the ages of 18 and 24, and one in six between the ages of 14 and 17, have vaped, according to official data.

This plan, with a fund of AU$234 million ($155 million) is set to be Australia’s first major reform against the tobacco industry after a law requiring companies to sell their products in neutral packages and with health warnings came into force in 2012. EFE


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