Today in Parliament I moved a motion to ban the sale or supply of e-cigarettes – commonly called vapes – without a medical prescription. I am delighted that the House supported me and passed the motion.
The text of the motion is attached.
In short, the House acknowledged that e-cigarettes are not safe and can cause a long list of detrimental health issues, including poisoning, burns and respiratory disease.
My particular concern is for school children and young adults. I am aware that children as young as grade three, four and five are using e-cigarettes. Teenage children tell me that school toilets are becoming no-go vaping dens.
E-cigarettes supplied without a prescription can be very dangerous because of the lack of regulation and control. There is hard evidence that some manufactures are surreptitiously inserting nicotine into sweet, fruit-flavoured vapes that are targeted at young people and labelled has non-nicotine, with the clear intention of addicting children.
I am very grateful to the Premier for his support for the motion, and for his assurances that he will pursue the other Australian jurisdictions for a national approach on the control of
e-cigarettes, including making it an offence to supply e-cigarette products without a doctor’s prescription.
Notice of Motion – 29 March 2023
Ms Johnston to move –
That the House
- Agrees that e-cigarettes are not safe.
- Acknowledges the conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes can cause:
- burns and injuries;
- acute nicotine toxicity;
- seizures; and
- acute respiratory diseases including illness requiring hospitalization and intubation.
- Acknowledges the substantial evidence:
- of addiction to e-cigarettes among non-smokers;
- that non-smokers who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely than non-users to go on to smoke combustible tobacco cigarettes;
- of the alarming increase in use by young people;
- that most e-cigarette use, even among smokers, is not for smoking cessation; and
- the poor enforcement of the legal prescription pathway for e-cigarettes.
- that mainstream retailers in Australia, including convenience stores, tobacconists and others are a major source of nicotine e-cigarette products in breach of Federal and State/Territory legislation, including in Tasmania (eg, Public Health Act 1997 (Tas), Federal Poisons Standard);
- the proliferation and availability of e-cigarette devices and liquids not labelled as containing nicotine or claiming to be nicotine-free undermines efforts to enforce the legal prescription pathway.
- Expresses alarm about the rapid increase in use by young people of e-cigarettes in Tasmania.
- Condemns targeted marketing to young people.
- Notes the Federal Health Ministers’ meeting on 24 February 2023 and resolutions of that meeting which endorsed the National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 and establish an E-Cigarette Working Group, and calls on the State Government to continue advocating for a national approach around the serious issue of vaping and e-cigarette use, including consideration to make it an offence to supply e-cigarette products, regardless of whether they contain nicotine, outside the Therapeutic Goods Administration prescription avenues.