VicHealth strongly supports and welcomes the Australian Government’s push for stronger regulations to protect young people from the dangers of e-cigarettes.
As a nation, we have made significant progress in reducing smoking rates, and we must continue to prioritise public health over the profits of the tobacco industry at all costs.
Today’s distressing news that 50 children under the age of four in Victoria have ingested nicotine from e-cigarettes is further evidence of the urgent need to protect children from these toxic products.
Vaping products are not harmless. They can contain up to 200 chemicals, including those found in paint stripper and weed killer. These chemicals are known to cause cancer and damage our brains – they do not belong in our lungs.
VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said that stronger regulations are the only way forward.
“The number of young people using these toxic products continue to grow at an alarming rate,” he said.
“They have no place on our shop shelves and we commend the Australian Government for taking a decisive stand against the vaping industry.
“We look forward to the findings from the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s review today, so we can work together with Government towards a solution to protect all Australians from the dangers of e-cigarettes.”
Access to nicotine vaping products should only occur under medical supervision via a prescription as a last resort for those who have tried all other methods of quitting smoking.
VicHealth is calling on the federal government to implement the following sensible and urgent actions to stop e-cigarette companies addicting a new generation of Australians to toxic products:
• Prevent the sale of all e-cigarette products (regardless of whether they contain nicotine), except by pharmacies to smokers with a prescription
• Stop the importation of all e-cigarette products to anyone other than smokers with a prescription or pharmacy wholesalers
• Apply the same rules on advertising, promotion and plain packaging of e-cigarettes as is already in place for tobacco products
We are still paying the price for tobacco, which has caused immeasurable harm and death and addicting generations of young people to nicotine. We do not want to make the same mistake again with e-cigarettes.