Read articles from Oceania

May 22, 2024 by

Cook Islands ban vapes, smoking age raised to 21

The Cook Islands are implementing stricter regulations on tobacco and vape products due to the rise of non-communicable diseases. The new laws include a ban on imitation tobacco products, raising the smoking age to 21, and hefty fines for non-compliance. The government aims to curb youth access to vaping devices and combat misinformation about their harmful effects. While some believe vaping offers a safer alternative to smoking, critics argue against infringing on individual rights and question the extent of smoking-related health issues in the Cook Islands. The legislation aligns with global health standards, with concerns about potential black market activity emerging once vaping is outlawed.

May 16, 2024 by

Still Failing in Australia

The Australian Association of Convenience Stores criticizes the country's failing anti-vaping laws, leading to black market crimes. Research shows concerns from Australian parents about unregulated vapes, calling for a model like alcohol and tobacco regulations. Most voters support adult-only vape regulation similar to tobacco. Despite evidence that banning vapes doesn't prevent youth access, the government persists. The CEO blames Health Minister Mark Butler for the black market surge and youth crisis. AACS urges lawmakers to reject legislation worsening the situation and implement strict regulation like alcohol and tobacco. The current approach leads to crime escalation and should not heed opponents like Emily Banks and Simon Chapman.

May 10, 2024 by

FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE FACTS | Mendelsohn debates Australia's vaping stance

Australia has taken a hardline approach to vaping leaving smokers wanting to quit with few legal routes to access safer nicotine products. In today's episode leading Australian THR advocate Colin Mendelsohn asks, have these restrictions actually achieved their intended goals? In his recent evidence to Australian Senators, Colin set out how a compassionate approach could be the key to improving Australia's vaping situation.

May 09, 2024 by

Will China stop supplying illegal vapes to Australia?

EMERITUS PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN AND COLLEAGUES are predicting that illegal vapes will virtually disappear in Australia because the Chinese government requires “all exporters to obey the laws of the countries to which they are exporting”. A Chinese government report showed that the number of vapes leaving China for Australia fell by 93% in the first 2 months of 2024 after the disposable ban was introduced. According to Chapman, this is the ‘smoking gun’, and its “All over, red rover”. Seriously? There is so much wrong with this prediction.

May 09, 2024 by

VIDEO: Easy access to vapes for young people despite ban

New research shows 8 out of 10 young Australians who regularly use nicotine vapes are buying them from bricks and mortar shops.

May 08, 2024 by

New report suggests vape bans are not working

A new report shows a majority of Australians do not believe the government’s ban on vape products is working. According to the Australian Association of Convenience Stores, 75 per cent of people don’t think the ban is keeping vapes away from children. Organised crime figures are importing an estimated $1 billion of illegal vapes into Australia each year. The figures also show that around eight in ten people believe vapes should be taxed and regulated the same as tobacco. In March earlier this year, the importation of all reusable vapes, regardless of whether it had nicotine, were banned, excluding therapeutic ones supplied by pharmacies.

May 08, 2024 by

Peak health bodies join Government to fight vaping

Health bodies in Australia support new vaping legislation by the Albanese Government to combat underage vaping and curb Big Tobacco influence. The legislation aims to restrict non-therapeutic vape products and make therapeutic vapes available only with a prescription. Concerns arise from high youth vaping rates and the gateway effect to smoking. Health professionals emphasize the risks of nicotine addiction and stress the need for controlled access to vapes through medical supervision. The government and health practitioners are intensifying efforts to help people quit smoking and vaping, focusing on personalized support and guidance. The united front against vaping targets safeguarding public health, particularly among young Australians.

May 07, 2024 by

Anti-vaping professor makes shock admission at Australian inquiry

Professor Emily Banks, an advocate for stricter vape regulations, admitted at an Australian senate inquiry that there are no known deaths directly caused by vaping, unlike cigarettes which claim half of all regular smokers globally. She highlighted concerns about nicotine addiction and the targeting of children by vape companies. Banks emphasized that the long-term health effects of vaping, particularly regarding cancer and cardiovascular disease, are still unknown due to its recent emergence. The debate continues on the safety and potential harm reduction of vaping compared to tobacco smoking, given the lack of concrete evidence. Meanwhile, 24,000 Australians die annually from smoking, prompting calls for vaping as a potential cessation aid.

May 03, 2024 by

My evidence at the Senate Inquiry

IN MY INTRODUCTORY SPEECH to the Senate Vaping Inquiry on 2 May 2024, I cover two major concerns about Australia’s vaping policy and comment on the blatant misinformation presented to the Inquiry. Ninety percent of vapers have rejected the legal pathway and only a small number of doctors will prescribe nicotine. Supplies are very hard to access through pharmacies. This has predictably created a thriving and dangerous black market controlled by criminal networks selling high nicotine, unregulated products. This has led to escalating violence as criminal gangs compete over market share.

May 03, 2024 by

Prescription vape manufacturers call for flavoured products as senate hears of heart risk levels

Fruit-flavoured prescription-only nicotine vapes for adults wanting to move away from cigarettes should be made available, manufacturers have told senators, as they throw their support behind new legislation aimed at stamping out the black market. After new laws came into effect in March that banned the importation of unlicensed vapes, the parliament is now considering the next tranche of legislation that would limit access to e-cigarettes to prescription only.