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Health experts call for tougher border restrictions on vaping products


Public health experts are calling for updated advertising laws to stop the promotion of vaping products to young people on social media.

Public health experts are urging changes in advertising laws to prevent the targeting of young people through social media promotions of vaping products.

Experts are weighing in on possible solutions to the looming youth vaping crisis ahead of a public consultation deadline on nicotine e-cigarette reforms.

VicHealth Chief Executive Health Officer Sandro Demaio said companies were targeting young people by using fruity flavours, childish packaging and shaping the products like hoodie toggles or highlighters.

“Young people are clearly being targeted and targeted very successfully, the government needs to step up and take action,” he told Channel Seven.

He said companies were also using social media to market vaping products to young people.

“Our billboard is now in our pocket, not on the street – we need to make sure that our advertising rules are updated to protect young people.”

Victoria’s health promotion foundation also wants to see tougher border restrictions on these products, a clampdown on sales in stores and more support services for addicted youths.

Dr Demaio said the industry was using a loophole on nicotine-free e-cigarettes as a “Trojan horse”, with research revealing many products contain nicotine despite the packaging suggesting otherwise.

Health Minister Mark Butler announced the review of Australia’s regulatory framework in late November in the hope of quickly pushing through flavouring and labelling controls on imports.

“Why on earth would you be marketing bubble gum-flavoured vapes with pink unicorns on them except to appeal to children, not even adolescents, young children?” he said in November.

The reforms are targeted at preventing access to young people while supporting adults to access regulated products to quit smoking with a doctor’s permission.

With AAP.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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