Australia is planning to strengthen its regulations to prevent smokers from switching to vaping nicotine. The draft National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 proposes “additional measures to further restrict the marketing, availability and use of all e-cigarette components.”
Australia is already the only Western democracy to require a nicotine prescription to vape. Vaping is framed as a threat to public health, rather than an opportunity to improve it.
Public consultation is currently being conducted on the draft Strategy, until March 24.
The previous National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018 was an embarrassing failure. A target of 10 percent adult daily smoking was set for 2018, but only 13.8 percent was achieved. The draft 2022-2030 Strategy has now set the same target of 10 percent for 2025. However, without ready access to vaping, this goal is certain to be missed once again.
"In Australia, it will remain much easier to buy deadly cigarettes than the far safer alternative."
In sharp contrast, neighboring New Zealand recently set a 2025 daily adult smoking target of less than 5 percent, for all population groups, in its Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. Vaping is a key element of this plan: “Those who are not ready to quit, or are unable to, now have an alternative at much less cost and risk to health,” it states.
Concerns over the criminalization of Māori people make New Zealand’s increasingly prohibitionist approach to smoking highly controversial. At the same time, its plan would make vaping products more accessible than cigarettes. In Australia, meanwhile, it will remain much easier to buy deadly cigarettes than the far safer alternative.
Even without the planned anti-smoking measures, the benefit of vaping has been clearly demonstrated in New Zealand. Over the last 12 months, since new vaping legislation was introduced, there has been an unprecedented 20 percent decline in the adult (daily and non-daily) smoking rate (from 13.7 percent to 10.9 percent). This decline is likely to be almost entirely due to vaping, as there have been no other significant tobacco policy changes during this time. In contrast, the adult smoking rate in Australia fell by 10 percent in six years from 2013-2019 (16.4 percent to 14.7 percent).
Article written by COLIN MENDELSOHN MARCH 8, 2022, read more: https://bit.ly/oz-restrictions