A panel on tobacco reforms heard that children are sleeping with vaping devices under their pillows because they are addicted to nicotine and can’t go through the night without a hit.
Dr. Hester Wilson, speaking on behalf of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Racgp), claimed that young people are battling nicotine addiction and are “inundated” with social media ads that promote vaping.
Wilson stated during Wednesday’s public hearings on changes to the public health (tobacco and other goods) law, “I currently see one patient who keeps a vape under his pillow.”
He gets up in the middle of the night to continue inhaling the vaporizer. He discreetly carries a vape pen at school so he can discreetly vape throughout class. He is trying to make the shift but is having a lot of trouble and is looking for support for that.
Research conducted in September by VicHealth and Quit revealed that e-cigarette vendors are using social media to advertise vaping items that are easy for minors to conceal from parents and teachers.
Updated and better graphic warnings will be added to tobacco packaging and included on individual cigarettes if the bill revisions are approved. It would also be illegal to utilize some additives in tobacco products, such as menthol.
New policies, such plain packaging for vape pens, would also be implemented to deter smoking and stop the advertising of vaping and e-cigarettes.
In an effort to crack down on the importation and sale of vapes, the federal, state, and territory governments are currently working together to develop a number of reforms, some of which include outlawing non-nicotine products. These reforms are distinct from the bill.
Wilson stated that the bill’s changes ought to be passed immediately, but he also suggested adding a clause prohibiting donations from the tobacco and e-cigarette industries to political parties and elected officials.
All political parties should “stop accepting sponsorship gifts or political donations from the tobacco industry, as this clearly compromises government policy on public health matters,” stated Dr. Michael Bonning, president of the Australian Medical Association’s NSW branch.
He said that vaping had increased addiction once more despite years of declining nicotine consumption.
“After a prolonged decline in the use of nicotine products, an increasing number of young people are smoking and vaping,” according to Bonning.
“People who use vapes are ingesting the equivalent of three to four packs of cigarettes per day, and with it the ingestion of other harmful chemicals and heavy metals which will impact their bodies over the coming years and decades.” “[There are] more smokers, more vapers, more chronic cough, new lung disease in young people.”
According to a study that was just released on Wednesday in the International Journal of Drug Policy, 45% of teenagers in Australia could start vaping.
Nearly 1,000 12-to 17-year-olds who had never smoked or vaped were asked in a survey led by Associate Prof. Michelle Jongenelis at the University of Melbourne about their curiosity, willingness to use e-cigarettes, and intention to try them within the next six months.
Important variables linked to vulnerability were identified to include attitudes and social norms. Those who had at least one family member or close friend who vapes and thought it was acceptable for people their age to use e-cigarettes were also at risk.
According to Jongenelis, “our research demonstrated that adolescents’ perception that vaping relieves tension, anger, or sadness enhanced susceptibility to future vaping, but emerging evidence has actually linked vaping with depression in adolescents.”
“We also need to impose strict regulations on the online marketing of e-cigarettes in order to protect our children from harmful industry advertising.”
During Monday’s bill hearings, Cancer Council Australia’s chief policy officer, Dr. Michelle Scollo, and CEO, Prof. Tanya Buchanan, expressed their support for the measure but asked that some “loopholes” be plugged.
While the law forbids individuals from sponsoring the tobacco and e-cigarette industries, Scollo said it also needs to specifically forbid sponsoring businesses and organizations.
“We can be certain that legal loopholes are exploited when they exist.”
On Thursday, when the hearings on the bill’s amendments come to a finish, speakers from the police, the Department of Health, and the retail sector are scheduled to speak.