There is an ambitious plan being put into action by the Department of Health to reduce the prevalence of tobacco in Australia by 2025. These measures will include prescription cigarette products and will aim to bring the percentage of smokers down below 10% in the next five years.
In the last few months, the momentum for this legislation has increased, and the inclusion of vaping products and the import of these products has made the new smoke-free Australia more of a reality. Smokers, including vapers, have been under pressure to quit in recent years with more regulations regarding the limitation of advertising and marketing of these products that have come into force.
Australia is regarded as one of the leaders worldwide in the fight against smoking in all its forms, a fact that is supported by the fact that less than 15% of the population currently indulges in some kind of smoking product. By being at the forefront of the worldwide smoke-free drive, the Australian government has pioneered the ban on smoking products in the international community.
Currently, vaping products that contain nicotine are banned in all its forms throughout Australia, and the use of cigarette advertising is restricted, making the access to these products much more prohibitive than elsewhere in the world.
However, the various regulatory bodies that have joined the fight against smoking and related products have been calling for a total revamp of the current regulation regarding these products.
This comes after researchers have found the vaping products containing liquid nicotine are being sold on the black market to children as young as 12 years old. The regulation that is being suggested would make the buying of e-cigarettes and vaping products that contain nicotine a prescription based purchase. This would go a long way to reducing the access that younger Australians have to these harmful products.
CREATE (Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame) has said that cigarette sales should be restricted to Australians born after a particular year and have called for a systematic reduction of commercial cigarette sales. The smoking endgame is to have Australia smoke free by 2025 or shortly thereafter.
With about 15% of Australians currently still smoking, this proposed regulation is meeting with some pushback. Although the smoke-free drive has been gaining momentum for some time now there are still some places where the use of smoking products is less restricted such as South Australia, where vaping products are still being sold legally.
Smoking and vaping nicotine products are dangerous to your health, of that there is no doubt and the average age of these products has dropped due to the variety of new vaping and cigarette products that have flooded the market. Parents have voiced their concern and are petitioning the new regulation to be installed sooner rather than later.
The next deadline for regulation is June 2021 when the proposed restriction of vaping products and consequent ban of all vaping products is set to be in place.