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‘Harmful and addicting youth’: Vaping crackdown flagged in national report

7 April 2022

By: Dana Daniel Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Brightly coloured vaping products with flavours similar bubble gum and fairy floss that assertion to beryllium nicotine-free could beryllium banned successful a nationalist crackdown arsenic caller probe finds e-cigarettes are “harmful and addicting youth”.

But immoderate determination to restrict e-cigarettes whitethorn look fierce absorption from a radical of pro-vaping Coalition backbench MPs, who defeated Health Minister Greg Hunt’s 2020 effort to prohibition liquid nicotine imports.

The national wellness section is finalising the National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 aft circulating a draught that proposes restrictions connected “the marketing, availability and usage of each e-cigarette components successful Australia, careless of their nicotine content”.

The Australian National University volition connected Thursday people probe commissioned by the section that recovered vaping “is causing addiction successful a caller procreation of users” and makes young radical 3 times much apt to instrumentality up cigaret smoking.

“Vapes present hundreds of chemicals – immoderate of them known to beryllium toxic,” pb writer Professor Emily Banks from the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health said.

“Nicotine usage successful children and adolescents tin pb to lifelong addiction issues arsenic good arsenic difficulties successful attraction and learning.”

The large reappraisal recovered the usage of nicotine e-cigarettes accrued the hazard of adverse wellness outcomes, peculiarly successful youth, including addiction, poisoning, seizures, trauma and burns and lung injury.

For the past six months, it has been amerciable to bargain nicotine liquid without a GP prescription arsenic a smoking cessation aid, but vaping products – often claiming to beryllium nicotine-free adjacent though they incorporate the cause – tin beryllium easy sourced online and successful retail shops.

The Cancer Council is seeking a prohibition connected these products, which it says “are blatantly being marketed towards young people” with agleam colours and flavours specified arsenic bubble gum oregon fairy floss.

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, lawman caput of the department’s wellness products regularisation group, said the uptake of vaping among young Australians was worrying.

“Our interest with vaping is much that it’s being utilized and promoted arsenic a caller addiction for radical who aren’t presently smoking,” Professor Skerritt told a Senate estimates proceeding connected Wednesday.

“There are radical illegally importing the products.”

The Cancer Council’s nationalist wellness committee chair, Anita Dessaix, said governments “are not doing capable to effort and halt these products landing into the hands of young people” and indispensable adjacent loopholes allowing them to beryllium sold, saying purportedly nicotine-free vapes were “acting similar a Trojan horse”.

“Every week we’re proceeding increasing assemblage interest astir e-cigarettes successful schools, the wellness harms and the risks of smoking uptake among young people,” she said. “A nationalist wellness situation is unfolding earlier our eyes.”

Ms Dessaix said Border Force indispensable “enforce the laws that presently beryllium to marque definite that the lone products that are coming into Australia are nether a valid doctor’s prescription.”

The ANU study recovered aboriginal informing signs of adverse effects of e-cigarettes connected cardiovascular wellness markers, including humor unit and bosom rate, and lung function, portion noting that the imaginable of vaping to origin crab implicit the agelong word remained unknown.

More than 2 cardinal Australians person utilized e-cigarettes, which are much communal among young people, particularly males, and astir bash not usage them to effort to discontinue smoking.

The study recovered 53 per cent of existent e-cigarette usage successful Australia is by radical who besides smoke, 31.5 per cent is by past smokers and 15.5 per cent is by radical who person ne’er smoked.

It recovered “limited evidence” for nicotine e-cigarettes’ usage arsenic a smoking cessation aid, Professor Banks said, with astir radical who discontinue going acold turkey.

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Karen Price said the nationalist baccy strategy should besides acceptable retired wide restrictions connected lobbying, “which should encompass each nicotine-containing products” and tackle societal media selling connected YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

Pro-vaping advocates are ramping up their run for nicotine e-cigarettes to beryllium treated the aforesaid arsenic mean user products up of the national election, with Legalise Vaping Australia precocious sending its lobbyists to conscionable with politicians successful Parliament House.

“Australian politicians who recognise the nationalist wellness imaginable of vaping volition beryllium rewarded with votes, yet astir stay excessively frightened to beforehand the world’s astir effectual smoking cessation tool,” the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates said successful a property merchandise connected Wednesday.

Liberal legislator Eric Abetz, who was portion of the 2020 backbench revolt, said the authorities could expect interior absorption to immoderate measures seeking to restrict the usage of e-cigarettes by smokers who wanted to quit.

“A beardown assemblage of opinion, based connected probe and wrong the assemblage astatine large, believes that the existent restrictions are, successful fact, counterproductive to the wellness of the individuals involved,” Senator Abetz told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“It is rather bizarre that thing which is known to beryllium carcinogenic, cigarettes, tin beryllium bought without immoderate medicine … astatine a petrol station, supermarket etc, but not vaping, which is truthful overmuch little bad.”

A national wellness section spokesperson said the Australian authorities “continues to instrumentality a precautionary attack to e-cigarettes … owed to the constricted grounds regarding effectiveness of e-cigarettes arsenic a smoking cessation tool”.

Growing grounds raised “concerns astir nonstop wellness harms associated with e‑cigarette use; concurrent usage of e‑cigarettes with baccy products; and the imaginable for e‑cigarette usage to pb to nicotine addiction and baccy use, peculiarly among youth”, the spokesperson said.

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