It’s On: Government Takes Action Against Mango Ice with New Vaping Laws

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It’s a fruit fight! The government has declared war on Mango Ice, the famous e-cigarette company, with new regulations to protect public health.

In a significant move to address the widespread use of vaping in Australia, the government has unveiled stringent measures, marking one of the most considerable nicotine reforms in nearly ten years.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler revealed that the upcoming Federal Budget would incorporate a comprehensive $234 million initiative to reduce youth vaping. This package includes a dedicated allocation of $63 million for a public health campaign.

Vaping has ‘biggest loophole in Australian history’ – Health Minister

On Tuesday, Butler spoke at the National Press Club, saying that vaping was marketed worldwide to governments and communities as a therapeutic aid to assist long-term smokers in quitting.

“This product was not intended for recreational use, especially not by children. However, it has now become the biggest loophole in Australian history.”

“They have used the same tactics as smoking by creating an addictive product, putting it in attractive packaging, and adding various flavours. This has resulted in a new set of individuals addicted to nicotine,” he explained, comparing it to big tobacco’s methods.

Health organisations in Australia have expressed support for the reforms, while some medical professionals and individuals who have successfully used vapes to quit smoking have rejected them.

Vaping devices to be banned in NSW

The new legislation will establish measures to set Australia apart as a state that bans smoking cessation devices considered 95% safer than cigarettes while keeping tobacco easily accessible.

According to the new regulations, the importation of all vaping devices, regardless of nicotine content, will be prohibited, except for pharmacists. Closing this significant loophole is the government’s primary objective.

Disposable, single-use vapes, currently available in local stores, will be prohibited, and stringent penalties will likely be imposed on those involved in their importation or sale.

In the future, vapes will only be permitted to be imported for prescription purposes in pharmacies. They will need to comply with new safety standards, potentially including restrictions on nicotine delivery. The devices that will be allowed must have plain, pharmaceutical packaging and cannot contain flavours.

New South Wales to target illicit sales of vapes -Statement

A spokesperson from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) highlighted that the current regulations allow a maximum nicotine concentration of 100 mg/mL (10%), significantly higher than the 2% nicotine concentration allowed by the health regulator in the UK. They consider this concentration to be excessively high.

“We are considering reducing the levels of permissible nicotine to levels similar to those permitted by other regulators,” the spokesperson said.

Authorities will intensify their efforts to combat the illicit sale of vapes, particularly to minors, and there is a suggestion of deploying specialised officers to monitor vaping activities and transactions. However, Butler has refuted some of these claims, stating that no laws penalise individuals for using vapes.

“The laws primarily target sellers, not individuals, not customers, and certainly not children. We aim to enforce regulations on vendors,” Health Minister Mark Butler emphasised.

The government is also contemplating funding the installation of 40,000 smoke and vapour detectors in public schools across New South Wales. This initiative is expected to commence as a trial in July of this year.

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