Albanese Government Takes Decisive Action with Landmark Vaping Legislation

The Albanese Government made history by introducing groundbreaking vaping legislation in Parliament. This move underscores our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our children, youth, and all Australians from the dangers associated with vaping.

The Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 is a game-changer. It prohibits the importation, manufacture, supply, and commercial possession of disposable single-use and non-therapeutic vapes. At the same time, it ensures that individuals with legitimate medical needs can access therapeutic vapes through pharmacies under appropriate clinical supervision for smoking cessation and managing nicotine dependence.

Let’s be clear: vaping poses a significant public health threat, particularly among our youth. Recent national data from 2022/23 revealed a startling statistic – one in six high school students had recently vaped. This marks a four-fold increase since 2017 and is cause for serious concern among public health advocates, policymakers, and healthcare professionals nationwide.

We cannot stand idly by as vaping rates skyrocket, endangering the health of future generations. That’s why decisive action is imperative. By implementing these reforms, we aim to halt and reverse the alarming trend of vaping before it inflicts long-term damage on the health of our population.

Vapes were initially marketed to Australians as therapeutic goods intended to assist smokers in quitting their habit. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to regulate them as such. Our legislation ensures that while individuals can still access therapeutic vapes under medical guidance, stringent controls are in place to protect public health.

This bill is a cornerstone of our regulatory agenda. It builds upon earlier measures such as banning the import of disposable single-use and non-therapeutic vapes and implementing pre-market controls for therapeutic vapes. It complements the Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) Act 2023, reinforcing our commitment to reducing smoking and vaping rates and shielding future generations from the devastating consequences of nicotine addiction.

Our efforts to improve public health extend beyond vaping reforms. We are bolstering support for smoking cessation through national quit initiatives, enhancing awareness through public health campaigns, and developing clinical guidelines for healthcare providers.

Moreover, we’re not stopping there. The introduction of the National Cancer Screening Register Amendment Bill 2024 signifies our dedication to early detection and treatment. By including lung cancer in the national screening register, eligible Australians aged 50 to 70 will have access to life-saving low-dose CT scans starting from July 2025.

For those seeking support to quit smoking or vaping, help is readily available. Whether through trusted healthcare professionals or resources like Quitline (13 QUIT), assistance is just a call away.

In the words of Minister Butler, “The Government is leading the charge to protect Australians, especially our youth, from the risks associated with vaping. We refuse to allow another generation to fall prey to nicotine addiction.”

“In solidarity with all Australian governments, we are united in our resolve to combat the concerning rise in vaping among young people. Together, we will continue working tirelessly to safeguard the health and well-being of our nation.”

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