Australia’s Minister for Health, Mark Butler, has announced that the country will introduce its most stringent regulations on disposable e-cigarettes by the end of November.
Butler stated that the law, set to be phased in from January 2024, aims to empower state police and health authorities to effectively enforce a nationwide import ban on all e-cigarettes, excluding those classified as smoking cessation medications.
In a recent incident, Australian border authorities seized approximately 35 tons of e-cigarette products after importers attempted to smuggle them into the country. The discovery revealed that these products contained nicotine.
In May of this year, the Australian government declared a ban on the importation of over-the-counter e-cigarette products, marking the most significant smoking reform in a decade.
According to the regulations, the only e-cigarettes legally permitted in Australia are those prescribed by a doctor and dispensed through pharmacies to aid in smoking cessation. The new measures will impose strict limitations on the packaging and flavors of medicinal e-cigarettes and may expand workplace smoking bans from traditional cigarettes to include e-cigarettes.
Butler expressed his concern for the millions of teenagers who may face nicotine withdrawal challenges due to the impending ban. He recently met with colleagues from the health department to address the primary concerns surrounding the potential impact on the youth.
According to a study released by Cancer Victoria in June, over 3.5 million Australians aged 14 and above use both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The move toward stricter regulations underscores Australia’s commitment to tackling the challenges posed by the rising popularity of e-cigarettes, especially among the younger population.
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