E-cigarettes will be sold exclusively in pharmacies with the aim of being used only by those trying to quit smoking
The Australian Department of Health announced today strict measures for curbing vaping, accusing the tobacco industry of wanting to make its teenagers the next “nicotine-addicted generation.”
The reform, which has been billed as Australia’s most significant anti-smoking initiative in a decade, sees a ban on single-use e-cigarettes, a suspension of imports of over-the-counter e-cigarettes and a cap on the nicotine they contain. The aim is for e-cigarettes to be used only to help smokers quit smoking.
Based on the new regulations electronic cigarettes will be sold exclusively in pharmacies and must have a “pharmaceutical type” package.
Australia has long been running one voluntary smoking cessation policy and in 2012 became the first country to impose the “neutral” pack of cigarettesa practice subsequently adopted by several countries.
Because of the high tax on tobacco sales the pack of 25 cigarettes in Australia Costs about 50 dollars (about 30 euros).
Australian Health Minister Mark Butler also announced increase in taxation in tobacco sales by 5% over the next three years.
In recent years Canberra has struggled to curb the explosion in e-cigarette use, particularly among young people.
“Vaping has become the biggest behavior problem in high schools and is spreading to elementary schools,” Butler complained.
“As with tobacco, the biggest international companies in the industry have taken another addictive product, put it in an attractive package and flavored it to create a new generation addicted to nicotine,” he added.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the country has one of the lower smoking rates worldwide, but the number of young people under the age of 25 starting to smoke has increased.
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