Sunday May 28, 2023

Australian govt cracks down on smoking and vaping

May 03, 2023

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia’s tobacco tax will be increased by billions of dollars over the next four years as the government cracks down on smoking and vaping.

Recreational vaping will be banned as the government seeks to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to nicotine, Health Minister Mark Butler said on Tuesday. The tobacco tax would be raised by 5% a year starting from September, Butler said — a total increase of 3.3 billion Australian dollars ($2.2 billion) over four years. This follows an AU$234-million ($157-million) boost for tougher regulation of e-cigarettes, including new controls on their importation and packaging.

“Vapes contain more than 200 chemicals that do not belong in the lungs. Some of the same chemicals you will find in nail polish remover and weed killer,” Butler said. The government will work with the states and territories to shut down the sale of vapes in retail and convenience stores and make it easier to get a prescription for therapeutic use.

To tackle the growing black market, the government will increase the product standards for vapes, including by restricting flavors and colors. It will require pharmaceutical-like packaging, a reduction in the maximum allowed nicotine concentrations and volumes and a ban on single-use vapes.