June 14, 2024

Care Nex

Stay Healthy, Live Happy

I’m Australia’s health minister – and there’s one thing I’m worried about as kids return to school this week

3 min read

As a father of three, I know too well that sending your kids off for the first day of a new school year is always an exciting yet nervous time.

Do they have everything they need? What teacher will they have?

Will they find a good group of friends?

In recent years, another very serious issue has become an increasing concern for many parents – how do I stop my child from being lured into vaping?

Data shows that about one in six high school students, and one in four young Australians aged between 18 and 24 are vaping.

Mark Butler is pictured alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Mark Butler is pictured alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese 

Vapes are sold beside lighters and chocolates

The popular IGET vapes cost about $25 each

A nationwide ban on the import and sale of disposable vapes came into effect on January 1. Illegal nicotine vapes have been sold next to chocolates and the government is aiming to crack this out

Vapes have become the No.1 behavioural issue in many schools.

We need to make sure that when our kids start the new school year, they don’t pick up vaping alongside new friends and new experiences.

Vapes have morphed very quickly to become a widespread, highly addictive product, and one being deliberately marketed at our kids.

You’ve probably seen the vapes I’m talking about – brightly coloured with rainbows or unicorns on them, and with flavours like bubblegum, grape or cherry. Vape shops are deliberately setting up down the road from schools – it’s an industry targeting their product to kids.

We are taking on Big Tobacco so they can’t succeed in getting a new generation addicted to nicotine.

The truth is the only groups who want to regulate and sell vaping products are those who profit from kids getting hooked on nicotine – Big Tobacco and tobacco retailers.

That’s why on January 1, the Albanese government brought in the first stage of our world-leading reforms to protect young Australians.

These disposable, single-use vapes can no longer be imported. Stopping these vapes from coming into the country is the first step in turning the tide on vaping in Australia.

There will be more changes in March. Flavours will be restricted, nicotine concentration will be reduced and pharmaceutical packaging will be used, to make vapes less appealing to young people.

We’ll be introducing laws to effectively make it illegal to make, advertise or sell single-use disposable or non-therapeutic vapes anywhere in Australia. Reducing the widespread availability and accessibility of vaping products will be critical to the success of the reforms.

Mark Butler says vapes have become the No.1 behavioural issue in many schools.

Mark Butler says vapes have become the No.1 behavioural issue in many schools.

We want to ensure that vaping products are only available from pharmacies for therapeutic purposes.

It is important to know that under these reforms young people and other users of these products will not be punished for possessing a vape. The focus will be to stop the commercial supply and sale outside of therapeutic settings to protect young people.

For free confidential support for you or your children to quit smoking or vaping, call the Quitline on 137 848.


  • From January 1, a nationwide ban on the importation of disposable vapes came into force
  • Retailers are permitted to sell existing inventory imported before January 1, as long as it is nicotine-free
  • Further measures, including a ban on the personal importation of vapes, will start in March
  • To coincide with the changes to importation rules, a new access scheme will be set up to allow doctors and nurses to prescribe therapeutic vapes where appropriate
  • The government has said vapers will not be the target of future enforcement action. Instead, the focus will be on vendors and importers. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.