Ladies and gentlemen of Australia, we will NOT be getting free vapes to combat smoking, unlike our comrades in the UK.
ICYMI: On Tuesday, UK announced that it will be doing a “swap to stop” policy, where they will be handing out vapes to help smokers switch from the ye olde durrie to a vape.
As per News.com.au, UK smokers will get free vaping kits and pregnant women who quit smoking will be rewarded with shopping vouchers in this new swap to stop policy.
It is also reported that the goal is to reduce the number of smokers in England to below five per cent by 2030.
After the UK’s announcement, Australia’s Health Minister Mark Butler shut any hopes of the swap to stop policy arriving to Australia down, calling vaping a “public health menace.”
“The tobacco industry has found a new way to develop a generation of nicotine addicts, and we will not stand for it,” Butler said.
“I’m aware the UK has announced a range of different initiatives to reduce smoking and vaping consumption.
“Health ministers are determined to take strong action about the explosion of illegal vaping in Australia and stamp out this menace.”
A couple weeks ago on ABC Breakfast radio, Butler slammed the tobacco industry for the way that they manufacture and market vapes.
“These vapes are deliberately and cynically marketed to children and teenagers. Some of them have pink unicorns on them, they’re bubblegum flavoured,” he said.
“That’s why the tobacco industry is pushing them so hard. They know that this is a way to create a new generation of nicotine addicts, which is why we’re determined to stamp it out.”
In early 2023, Australia Medical Association (AMA) called for stronger regulation against vaping, with AMA President Professor Stephen Robson saying, “Vaping is not harmless, it is not safe, it is not part of tobacco control.”
Vaping in certain public places is banned in most Australian states, with SA introducing more strict laws this week.