As the government tightens down on smoking and vaping, Australia’s tobacco tax will rise by billions of dollars over the next four years.
According to Health Minister Mark Butler on Tuesday, recreational vaping will be outlawed to stop the next generation from developing a nicotine addiction.
Beginning in September, Butler announced that the tobacco tax would increase by 5% annually for a total increase of 3.3 billion Australian dollars ($2.2 billion) over four years.
This comes after an AU$234 million ($157 million) hike for stricter regulation of e-cigarettes, including additional curbs on their packaging and importation.
More than 200 compounds found in vapes are harmful to the lungs. Some of the same chemicals can be found in weed killer and nail polish remover,” Butler said.
The government will collaborate with the states and territories to stop the sale of vapes in retail and convenience stores and make it simpler to obtain a prescription for therapeutic use.
To combat the expanding underground market, the government will tighten product regulations for vapes, notably by limiting flavors and colors.
It will call for packaging resembling that found in pharmacies, a decrease in the maximum nicotine concentrations and volumes permitted, and a ban on single-use vapes.
Butler declared, “This is a product aimed at our kids.” “Vaping is becoming the most prevalent behavioral problem in high schools, even spreading to elementary schools. This has to stop.
According to Butler, the “new threat” has the potential to reverse the hard-won improvements in public health brought about by the decline in smoking.
The initiative was supported by Steve Robson, president of the Australian Medical Association, the top doctors’ organization in the country.
We are aware that the younger Australian population is becoming dependent on e-cigarettes, which is a great move, he said.
Erin Lalor, CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, claimed that most Australians who vape were using unregulated goods and had no idea what was in them.
She said some vapers, including young individuals, might unintentionally ingest nicotine and develop a habit.
An AU$63 million ($42 million) public health campaign will be launched to prevent Australians from starting to vape and support those who have already quit. An investment of AU$30 million ($20 million) would increase support services for Australians trying to quit vaping and improve health professionals’ knowledge of smoking and nicotine cessation.
A program to aid Indigenous people in quitting smoking will receive an additional AU$ 140 million ($94 million) from the government and will be expanded to include vaping.
According to government statistics, 11.2% of Australians aged 15 and over smoked in 2019.
This makes Australia one of the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with the lowest smoking rates.