Urgent Action Needed to Combat the Vaping Epidemic

March 2024

Due to the concerning increase in vaping among young people in Australia, the public health and education sectors have prioritised implementing a comprehensive strategy to address this trend. After reviewing recent data and conducting consultations, a nationwide call to action has been initiated, resulting in a proposal for the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024.

The Vaping Reforms Bill: A Game Changer in Public Health

The main objective of the Vaping Reforms Bill is to limit the availability and attractiveness of non-therapeutic vaping products. The bill proposes prohibiting the importation, domestic production, distribution, and advertisement of disposable, single-use, and non-therapeutic vapes, thereby safeguarding Australians, especially young people, from the increasing health hazards associated with vaping.

Key aspects of the bill include:

  • A consistent national framework to regulate all vapes, regardless of nicotine content.
  • Preservation of access to therapeutic vapes for smoking cessation under clinical guidance.
  • Introducing new offences and civil penalty provisions to deter illegal vaping activities.

Why This Legislation Matters

The need for the bill is highlighted by a survey conducted by ACSSO on the Impact of Vaping. The survey brings attention to the growing concern among parents and educators regarding the rise of vaping among youth. This trend poses significant risks, such as nicotine addiction, mental health problems, and the possibility of severe health complications.

ACSSO's Stance on Vaping Legislation

ACSSO supports the proposed legislation, emphasising that it aligns with the community's call for stronger regulation and education on vaping risks. The organisation advocates for:

  • Increased public education about vaping's dangers.
  • Stricter regulation of vaping product advertising and marketing.
  • Implementation of age restrictions for purchasing vaping products.
  • A ban on flavoured vaping products to reduce their appeal to youth.

A letter signed by relevant Federal, State and Territory Ministers has been sent to principals across the country, highlighting the crucial role schools can play in addressing the issue of vaping. The letter urges schools to educate students about the potential risks of vaping, encourage the passing of laws and regulations that limit access to vaping products, and create an environment that promotes healthy choices as a norm.

The proposed Vaping Reforms Bill requires a united front against vaping to safeguard public health, especially among young Australians. ACSSO is urging educators, parents, and policymakers to support this legislation and work together to reduce the impact of vaping on our society.

The Australian Council of State School Organisations is the national voice for families, carers, and communities in government education across Australia. ACSSO advocates for the rights and well-being of students and works towards ensuring quality education for all Australian children.


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