Next steps of vaping reform and launch of influencer-led youth vaping campaign

The Australian Government’s world leading vaping reforms are progressing, with the next stage of import restrictions taking effect from 1 March, as well as the launch of a government communications campaign targeting youth vaping.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Australian Government’s world leading vaping reforms are progressing, with the next stage of import restrictions taking effect from 1 March, as well as the launch of a government communications campaign targeting youth vaping.
 
Since the 1 January ban on the importation of single-use disposable vapes, the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have seized more than 360,000 vapes worth almost $11 million in operations across Australia, with the support of state and territory health agencies and police.
 
The TGA seized 210,000 vapes in a single operation in February – only 130,000 vapes were seized in all of 2023, before the import ban came into effect.
 
The next regulations that take effect from 1 March include:

  • the banning of the importation of all vapes without a licence and permit
  • the closure of the personal importation scheme for vapes
  • strengthened quality and safety standards for therapeutic vapes.

 In coming weeks, the Government will introduce legislation to prevent domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes to ensure comprehensive controls on vapes across all levels of the supply chain.

Later this year, product standards for therapeutic vapes will be strengthened, including to limit flavours, reduce permissible nicotine concentrations and require pharmaceutical packaging. 
 
Today the Albanese Government is launching a new influencer-led youth vaping campaign, to spark a conversation with the next generation of Australians about the harms of vaping and nicotine addiction.
 
Social media is awash with pro-vaping content: misinformation cynically promoted and stoked by the vaping and tobacco industry. TikTok is home to more than 18 billion posts with the hashtag #vape and Instagram is home to more than 18,000 ‘vaping influencer’ profiles solely dedicated to promoting vaping.
 
The Government campaign uses communication platforms that reach and resonate with young Australians, including music streamer 'Spotify' and school leaver resource 'Year13'.
 
A range of influencers popular with 14 to 20 year olds will be engaged to combat the misinformation on social media, including:
 

  • Ellyse Perry
  • Ella Watkins
  • JackBuzza
  • Fairbairn Brothers
  • Zahlia and Shyla Short
  • Sam Fricker
  • Lottie Dalziel
  • HeyImZed

 
These influencers already have the attention of young Australians, and span the arenas of gaming, comedy, sport and other lifestyle interests. They will reach young people in their own unique style and tone, communicating authentically about the harms and reasons not to vape.
 
Some have experienced the dangers of vaping and nicotine addiction firsthand, like junior professional surfers Zahlia and Shyla Short from Wollongong, who have both supported a family member to quit vaping.
 
Further communications campaigns on vaping and smoking are planned for later this year.
 
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler: 
 
“There is an enormous amount of misinformation and online advertising designed to lure teenagers into vaping.
 
“Together with the Albanese Government’s world leading vaping reforms, education is a key step to stopping Big Tobacco companies from luring a new generation into nicotine dependency.
 
“It’s pretty clear that teenagers don’t watch TV or listen to Health Ministers, much as I might like them to, which is why we’ve partnered with influencers that young people listen to: from comedians, to sport stars and gamers, and everyone in between.
 
Quotes attributable to Ellyse Perry, Cricketer:
 
“I’m excited to be supporting the Australian Government on the vaping education campaign and lending my voice to such a critical health issue.
 
“As a professional athlete, I know that even occasional vape use would have significant consequences for both mental and physical performance on and off the field.”
 
Quotes attributable to Ella Watkins, Actor and content creator:
 
“I’m very vocal with friends and family about the negative physical and mental health effects of vaping and I’m really pleased to be joining this campaign and helping to spread such an important message to young Australians.”
 
Quotes attributable to Jack Buzza, Gamer and comedian:
 
“I know in the gaming and content space, a lot of young people vape without understanding the health consequences of that choice, including the addictive nature of vaping.”
 
Quotes attributable to Zahlia Short, Junior professional surfer:
 
“As young women, we witness on a regular basis our friends and dear ones be tempted by vaping. Not only do we worry about the health concerns, but we also worry about the environmental concerns.
 
“The ocean is our second home, and it is also now being affected by vapes. It is time for everyone to be aware of how vaping affects your health and the environment.”
 
Quotes attributable to Lachlan Fairbairn, Comedian:
 
“We know that a lot of our peers vape, so it's important to us that we support a campaign that will educate people on the harms of vaping and help them seek support if they want it.”
 
 

Quitline

Contact Quitline for help to quit smoking and vaping. You can call the hotline on 13 QUIT (13 7848), to talk to a counsellor or request a callback. The Quitline offers an online chat service in some states and territories, and has resources for health professionals.

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