It is clearly not the decision of the year for Australian vapers but it is a real beginning of consideration for the vape in the country. Following the scandal of import ban on vaping products announced a few days ago, the Minister of Health, Greg Hunt launched a press release yesterday to ease tensions and concerns on the subject.
In an official statement released yesterday by the Minister of Health, Greg Hunt, a beginning of explanation concerning the import ban and the compulsory ordinances appears.
Australian medical experts, including the AHPPC, have warned of the health hazards of electronic cigarettes. These notices are consistent with the prohibition in force in all states and territories on the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.
The smoking rate in Australia has dropped significantly over the past two decades, from 22,3% in 2001 to 13,8% in 2017-18. But the latest statistics show that smoking has still contributed to around 21 deaths. That is why we need to further reduce these smoking rates.
In particular, around the world, we have found that non-smokers are introduced to nicotine for the first time with vaping. The government therefore responds to the notice by ensuring that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can only be imported with a doctor's prescription. This will help prevent nicotine consumption by non-smokers via vaping.
However, we have a second group of people who use these e-cigarettes with nicotine as a way to quit smoking. In order to help this group continue to end this addiction, we will give more time to implement the change by establishing a simplified process for patients wishing to obtain prescriptions from their general practitioner.
For this reason, the implementation period will be extended by six months until January 1, 2021. People should always consult their doctor about these health issues and make sure that the e-cigarette is the product that agrees.
It will also give patients time to talk to their GP, discuss the best way to quit smoking, such as using other products, including patches or sprays, and if necessary get a prescription.