Australia to Launch Public Consultation on Nicotine Vapes

Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler, will be proposing further restrictions on vaping products.

In Canada and the UK, smoking rates in young adults declined faster after vaping became available.

The consultation will be announced at an event at an Parliament House in Canberra being held this week, to mark 10 years since plain packaging laws were introduced. The process will be carried out through drugs regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration on nicotine vaping products. “We need to understand where the current regulatory framework falls short and what action governments can take to move the dial,” said Butler.

The minister blamed the previous administration for delaying setting in place stricter vape regulations. “The former government dropped the ball on vaping,” Butler told Guardian Australia. “Our children are paying the price for that division and delay.”

The country’s smoking cessation progress has stalled
Meanwhile in contrast to Butler’s arguments, a recent study recently published in BMJ Open has confirmed that Australia’s harsh and outdated vape policy, and has stalled the country’s smoking cessation efforts.

Titled, “Impact of vaping introduction on cigarette smoking in six jurisdictions with varied regulatory approaches to vaping: an interrupted time series analysis,” the study analyzed smoking rates and cigarette consumption in 6 jurisdictions with different regulatory environments for vaping:  Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia (in Canada), UK and Australia.

Of these Australia has the harshest vape regulations and subsequently the lowest vaping rates. However it also has one of the lowest rates of progress with regards to declining smoking rates.

The availability of vapes is directly proportional to decreased smoking rates
In a post on his blog page, Tobacco Treatment expert Dr. Colin Mendelsohn said that this study indicates once again that in Canada and the UK, smoking consumption and smoking rates in young adults declined faster after vaping became available.

“However in Australia, the decline in cigarette consumption by adult smokers has slowed and the decline in smoking rates in young adults has also slowed after vaping became available.”

“Australia has the harshest vaping regulations in the western world based on misguided concerns that vaping could lead young people who would otherwise not take up smoking to smoke. However this is perversely preventing adults from accessing a life-saving alternative and leading to more smoking-related deaths and illnesses,” added Mendelsohn.