Media release

Hold the line against industry pressure and ban vapes, AMA urges Senate

The Australian Medical Association is calling on legislators to resist industry pressure and support the next stage of federal reforms that will ban the importation, manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of disposable single use and non-therapeutic vapes.

Woman vaping

AMA President Professor Steve Robson will today tell a Senate committee inquiring into the Vaping Reforms Bill 2024 to treat the passage of the next tranche of vaping legislation as a matter of urgency.

“I am urging all MPs and Senators to keep up the fight against Big Tobacco’s efforts to derail the reforms,” Professor Robson said.

“Tobacco companies want to continue to profit from young people getting addicted to vaping through ease of access, misinformation about safety, and sneaky marketing that entices young people to vape through flavouring and packaging.

“We must resist industry lobbying and keep pushing to implement a consistent, robust framework to reduce rates of vaping and prevent long-term adverse health effects on population health.

“The irrefutable statistics show vaping is a gateway for young Australians to smoke cigarettes with strong evidence showing young people who vape are three times more likely to take up smoking.”

The government’s reforms will support people to stop smoking or vaping by retaining prescription vapes and making them accessible to patients where clinically appropriate through a GP.

Professor Robson said the vape industry was making a profit at the expense of young Australians by using every trick in the book to hook young children on vapes.

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey 202223 showed an alarming increase in the rate of vaping among young people with a five-fold increase among 1417 year-olds (from 1.8 per cent to 9.7 per cent) between 2019 and 202223.

Professor Robson said vaping companies had resorted to cheap tricks by promoting fruity flavours, bright packaging, false claims that vapes were nicotine free and having shopfronts located near schools.

“Behind the promotion of this seemingly colourful, carefree and harmless past time is a stark and dire health risk reality,” he said.

“Vapes include substances such as diacetyl, which damages small passageways in the lungs and formaldehyde which contributes to lung and heart disease. And, for good measure, they’ve also been found to contain acrolein, which is used as a weed killer.

“The government’s reforms are world leading and will protect our children from getting hooked on nicotine. Proposals being pursued by some groups, including taxing vapes in the same way as tobacco, entrench nicotine addiction and prioritise revenue raising over our children’s health.”

Read the AMA’s submission to the committee inquiry

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