Australia is set ban the import of all single-use disposable vapes — effective Jan. 1, 2024 — health minister Mark Butler has announced, citing what he described as a "new generation of nicotine dependency" in the country.
Around one in seven 14-17-year-olds in Australia use vapes, according to government data, with Butler saying the product, once designed to "help long-term smokers quit," had turned into a "recreational product...targeted to our kids."
While prescriptions for those in need will remain available, Australia's vaping ban will help stem the concerning rise of e-cigarette addiction among previously non-smoking youths. While vaping can be an effective medical tool, it must be kept minimal so as to reduce addiction. Australia has taken a bold step to protect its population's health.
Banning vaping would merely push nicotine users towards unhealthier alternatives, with rising cigarette sales a possible outcome. Australia tried prohibiting vaping earlier, not because it is worse than smoking cigarettes, but because it is worse than not vaping at all. The focus should be on reducing nicotine levels within all smoking-related products, thereby limiting the source of substance addiction rather than setting fertile ground for a thriving black market.
There is a 50% chance that a country will completely ban civilian tobacco consumption and/or smoking by January 2033, according to the Metaculus prediction community.