teenager vaping
teenager vaping

Vape makers have backed the government's plan to block illegal vape shipments, as the crackdown aims to protect both public health and the legal vaping market.

The law passed in March implemented a wide ban on unauthorized vapes across the country, with the aim of enhancing public safety. The government is now mulling over limiting access to e-cigarettes to only adults with prescriptions.

However, Wilhelm David, a representative of From the Fields, a company that manufactures prescription nicotine vapes, weighed in on the legislation during a senate hearing on Wednesday, expressing worry over the suggested taste restrictions, particularly the limiting of prescription nicotine vape flavors to just tobacco and menthol.

He contended that these restrictions are "concerning" and ought to be loosened, presumably to facilitate smokers' transition from cigarettes to "therapeutic vapes," News.com.au reported. David insisted that these devices had potential benefits, saying that "when used appropriately, the products could help save lives."

"Most current users of therapeutic vapes now accessing simple fruit flavors will be significantly affected. Simple fruit flavors are not candy flavors. There's a big difference," David added.

The government's proposed legislation was supported by vape manufacturers Liber Pharmaceuticals and Bay Pharma. They added the enforcement would help reduce black market products from moving in the society.

David Burns from Bay Pharma said, "We welcome the proposed legislation insofar as it aims to reduce the supply of NVPs by the black market and aims to streamline the supply of therapeutic MVP through the medical access framework," News.com.au reported.

The ban spurred growing concerns, notably among health professionals under Minister Mark Butler's leadership, over the rising prevalence of vaping among youth. The fact that Butler referred to teenage vaping as "the biggest loophole in Australian history" emphasizes how urgent it is to solve this problem. Anti-smoking groups like Quit view this new rule as a major step in the fight against tobacco use.

The prohibition intends to bar more young people from vaping adduction, which can potentially jeopardize the normal growth of their bodies and brains. The Australian Medical Association, however, deems that the issue has scarier depths. As per Dr. Michael Bonning, the majority of general practitioners endorse the requirement of a prescription for vapes since it aids in the appropriate management of nicotine addiction.

"We would consider (prescription vaping) a fourth line tool," Dr Bonning said during the senate enquiry. "There are more effective medications."

The health status of young Australians is concerning, according to last year's stats from Cancer Council Victoria. According to the report, smoking and vaping are on the rise, especially among youth. This is especially troubling because studies indicate that vapers are three times more likely to start smoking later in life. The percentage of 14 to 17-year-olds who smoke increased from 2.1% in 2018 to 6.7% in 2022, while the percentage of those in the same age range who vape increased from less than 1% to a startling 11.8%. Experts caution that decades of work in lowering youth smoking rates in Australia may be undone by these changes.