WA Health spokesman said that the department has seized over 16,000 illegal nicotine vapes in over three years,
Since October, it has been illegal for retailers in Australia to sell vaping products without a doctor’s prescription. Despite this national ban, vaping is said to be increasingly common especially among young people, and the products are reportedly still easy to purchase. Infact WA Health has sent letters to over 3,000 retailers warning them about the recent restrictions.
WA Health spokesman Dr. Michael Lindsay said that the department has seized over 16,000 illegal nicotine vapes in over three years, and the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed a 23% increase in vapers.
Similarly, Vicky Sheppeard, from New South Wales’ public health unit at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, said that spot checks are being conducted, prompted by a rise in vaping among high school students. “We are speaking with principals who are very aware and concerned that there are growing numbers of young people vaping.”
“Unfortunately we understand that, while the use does increase with age, it is not limited to the younger students, and we have had reports of children in primary school vaping,” added Sheppeard.
Infact NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has recently announced a range of actions to tackle the problem in schools. “It’s a concern. I mean, clearly we are seeing more vaping among young people; e-cigarettes in schools are a growing concern,” she said. “Schools are smoke-free environments and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes, are prohibited on school grounds.”
Are Australia’s vape laws effective?
Meanwhile, Dr. Alex Wodak from the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, said that current vape regulations are not relative to risk. “We know that the overwhelming majority of people who vape in Australia are current smokers, or even more so, former smokers, and they’re doing it to reduce the harm from smoking.”
“Vaping is regulated much more tightly, much more restricted than cigarettes, and if we were going to do anything, we should be restricting cigarettes much more than we’re restricting vaping.”
Read Further: ABC News
Australia: Confusion Regarding New Vape Laws Amongst Retailers