Australian experts have started referring to vaping as an “epidemic”. This comes after the ban of recreational vaping in the country following studies.
According to the Australian government, vaping is a public health threat and it is something that’s disproportionately affecting young people.
The BBC reports that research suggests one in six Australians aged 14 to 17 years old has vaped, and one in four people aged 18 to 24.
Although nicotine vapes require a prescription in the country, the industry’s regulation isn’t on par and vapes are readily available on the black market.
In a speech, Health Minister Mark Butler said a new type of addict has been created.
“Just like they did with smoking… ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added sweet flavours to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
Vaping has become a massive problem in schools and it’s been identified as the number one behavioural problem. Some schools have even installed vaping detectors in their bathrooms.
Mr Butler added that the new law will ban every type and flavour, unless the user can prove via a prescription that they have it for “legitimate therapeutic use”.
“No more bubble-gum flavours, pink unicorns or vapes disguised as highlighter pens for kids to hide them in their pencil cases.”
Australia isn’t the first country to take this decision. Singapore and Thailand have also banned vaping.
A timeline will be announced at a later date to outline the new laws and when they’ll kick in.
Image credit: CNN