Media release

Parliament must pass vaping legislation to protect young Australians

The AMA welcomes the introduction of draft laws into Parliament today that will tackle the dangerous and growing habit of vaping and protect younger generations.

Woman's hand holding a blue disposable vape

AMA President Professor Steve Robson urged all MPs to support the legislation, which includes a ban on the domestic manufacture, supply, advertising and commercial possession of non-therapeutic vapes.

“The significant rise of vapes in recent years is a catastrophic health concern, with children becoming addicted to nicotine and many young Australians moving on to cigarettes after vaping,” Professor Robson said.

“This is a national health crisis that must be stopped in its tracks, and the only way to do that is to stop the retail sale of vapes and give people the help they need to kick this dangerous habit by moving to a prescription only model.

“The federal government should make absolutely no apology with their tough but necessary legislation to be introduced today, and we call on federal parliament to support these changes.”

The AMA has long advocated for restrictions on vaping, especially as more evidence emerges about the serious health risks linked to vapes.

Substances commonly found in these products include diacetyl, which damages small passageways in the lungs, formaldehyde, which is known to contribute to lung and heart diseases, and acrolein, which is often used as a weed killer.

There is also strong evidence to show young people who vape are three times more likely to go on to take up smoking.

“Big tobacco profits from the misery of others and uses every trick in the book to hook young kids on vapes," Professor Robson said.

"Fruity flavours, bright packaging, false claims that vapes are nicotine free and vaping shopfronts within walking distances of schools are all within big tobacco’s arsenal of tricks.

“This is marketing sleight of hand at its absolute worst, and these shady tobacco companies won’t stop unless stringent legislation is put in place to prevent vaping from escalating into the next cigarette and smoking crisis.”

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