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Australian Politicians Express Concern over Minors Accessing Illegal Vapes

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Coalition MP Warren Entsch emphasized the importance of keeping vapes away from children, stating, ‘we’ve got to get this stuff out of the hands of the kids.’

Concerns have been raised by the Coalition about children accessing vapes in Australia, despite the government’s ban on importing disposable vapes. In January, the import of disposable single-use vapes was made illegal under the federal government’s vaping reform.

Liberal National member for Leichhardt in Queensland, Warren Entsch, has expressed worries about underage children purchasing vapes near schools from convenience stores.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr. Entsch stated, “Everywhere you go you see them. The problem with these places is they sell for cash—in fact, some of them have got ATMs … so these people are selling them at ridiculously low prices, so everybody knows who they are.”

He also stressed the need to keep vapes away from children, saying, “We’ve got to get this stuff out of the hands of the kids,” as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr. Entsch further expressed his concerns, stating, “It’s a disgrace. And it’s having a huge impact on legitimate businesses that comply with the law.”

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In late January, Health Minister Mark Butler revealed that Australian Border Force (ABF) seized over 13 million tonnes of disposable vapes from entering the community.

Mr. Butler stated, “Our vaping policy that came into effect on 1 January to ban the importation of disposable single-use vapes is working.”

He highlighted the impact of disposable vapes flooding into Australia before the government’s regulatory changes, stating that these vapes are aimed at attracting children with their bright colors and bubble gum flavors to develop nicotine addiction.

Coalition member for Herbert Phillip Thompson expressed concerns about the rise in illicit trade, especially the sale of vapes to children.

According to Mr. Thompson, “There’s a lot of people in the Coalition that are concerned with pop-up illegal tobacco stores and vapes sold to kids. We want to have a policy that will stop that.”

He expressed his reservations about the government’s approach, saying, “The whole approach the government is taking, to me, doesn’t make sense. I don’t want to see the illegal market explode, especially in the regions, where police have already told me they can’t police it.”

Government Urged Australians to Quit Vaping

In the new year, the health minister urged vapers to quit the habit as a new year’s resolution, noting the government was taking “world leading action” to crack down on it.

He encouraged recreational vapers to start their cessation journey, emphasizing the government’s efforts to gradually reduce the supply of vapes in Australia throughout 2024.

Doctors and nurse practitioners can still prescribe therapeutic vaping products to help individuals quit smoking and vaping.

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