Queensland government announces inquiry to crackdown on vaping
The Queensland government is cracking down on vaping by announcing a parliamentary inquiry into the dangers of the phenomenon.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said an inquiry is needed as vaping is a stepping stone to smoking.
She pointed to a study done by the Australian National University that found people are three times more likely to take up smoking if they've tried vaping.
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"We're setting up a Parliamentary Inquiry to get to the truth about e-cigarettes and vaping," Palaszczuk said.
"I want everyone to be armed with the best information about the potential dangers of vaping.
"Right now, Queenslanders simply don't have that information."
The parliamentary inquiry will look at how cheap the devices are, how easily they're accessed by young Queenslanders and the way they're marketed with a range of lolly-type flavours.
It will also investigate what exactly vapes contain like nicotine or toxic chemicals.
All of the findings will be reported to parliament by August and could change how vapes are regulated in Queensland.
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Victoria Health CEO Dr Sandro Demaio welcomed the announcement by the Queensland government, but said action is needed now to crackdown on vaping.
"We know these products are highly addictive," he said.
"They have hundreds of harmful chemicals and contain high levels of nicotine, everything up to the equivalent of 50 cigarettes in a single disposable vape, costing as little as $10, that looks like a make-up case and with flavours like fruit loops and milk.
"The e-cigarette and cigarette industry have found a way to get through the loopholes of Australia's world-class tobacco control measures and we are seeing a huge increase in the uptake of these products among young people."
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He added government needs to step up at all levels to close borders and loopholes to the "deluge" of disposable vapes coming into Australia.
"It's going to take everyone," he said.
"This is a very, very serious issue affecting many young people across Australia."
Demaio added there is a small proportion of people using vapes to stop smoking however there is a higher number of children becoming addicted to nicotine through vapes.
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Nationals leader David Littleproud said the lack of regulation on the flavours and what is in vapes has opened a "Pandora's box".
"We need to shut it," he said.
"I think it is important that we do, but we act with the science we've got and any science we can get."
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