The Australian government is implementing strict measures to ban e-cigarettes, particularly among teenagers, as part of its most significant smoking reforms in over a decade. Australian Health Minister Mark Butler expressed concern about the rising issue of vaping in high schools and even elementary schools, acknowledging that e-cigarettes have therapeutic uses but emphasizing their negative impact on young people. Under the new regulations, non-prescription vapes will be banned from importation, and vape products will be required to have pharmaceutical-like packaging to promote their use as smoking cessation aids only. Colorful and enticing packaging will be restricted, and disposable vapes will be prohibited. The aim is to eliminate appealing flavors and prevent vapes from being disguised as harmless objects, such as highlighter pens.

The Australian government is focused on addressing the addictive nature of vaping, especially among adolescents and children, and aims to reduce their uptake of e-cigarettes. Alongside the ban, tobacco taxes will be increased by 5% per year for the next three years, starting in September. Research has shown a strong connection between vaping and nicotine addiction among young people, leading to psychological issues and physical symptoms. While the ban on disposable vapes is a positive step, efforts must continue to ensure legal access to approved vaping products for smokers who wish to quit. The government plans to invest millions of dollars in smoking cessation programs to support people in their efforts to quit smoking without relying on e-cigarettes. Contrary to Australia’s approach, the UK is promoting vaping as a tool to help long-term smokers quit. They will provide vape starter kits and behavioral support to encourage around one million smokers to switch.