‘Tsunami’ of pro-vaping campaigns ahead of crackdown

Millions of dollars in vapes, tobacco, guns and cash seized

Source: Australian Border Force

Big tobacco companies have launched a “tsunami” of pro-vaping campaigns ahead of a push to ban them, an anti-smoking lobby says.

Health Minister Mark Butler will introduce laws to parliament on Thursday, which will stop the importation, manufacture, supply, and commercial possession of disposable single use and non-therapeutic vapes.

The latest national data worryingly revealed one in six high school students recently vaped, prompting widespread concern among public health advocates and policy makers.

The Australian Council on Smoking & Health urged parliamentarians to listen to the health experts and to stand their ground against the “current tsunami of big tobacco funded pro-vaping campaigns”.

Co-chief executive Laura Hunter said it was important to call out the deliberate confusion being generated by pro-vaping campaigns including Bust the Black Market.

“We want big tobacco to butt out of children’s health and leave it to public health experts who have no vested interest,” she said.

“We need our elected members to step up and protect our kids, not industry profits.”

The council said pro-vaping organisations commissioned misleading surveys and put out fake testimonials.

Butler said the government was taking a “world-leading” response to stamp out the health issue.

“The only groups who want to regulate and sell vaping products are those who profit once kids get hooked on nicotine, big tobacco and tobacco retailers,” he said.

“I’m not willing to raise the white flag and let a whole new generation get addicted to nicotine.”

The only legal way to buy vapes will be therapeutically through a pharmacy, once legislation passes the parliament later this year.

Since the January ban on the importation of single-use disposable vapes, the Australian Border Force and Therapeutic Goods Administration have seized more than 360,000 vapes worth almost $11 million.

New Zealand will ban disposable vapes and raise fines for those who provide young people with e-cigarettes.

Kiwi retailers found to be selling vapes to people under the age of 18 could be hit with $92,600 in fines, with individuals slapped with a $930 penalty.


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