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Greens secure crucial amends to federal vaping reform legislation

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Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
25 June 2024

The federal government’s vaping reform legislation will pass the Senate after the Greens secured crucial amendments to reduce the harms of vaping through sensible regulation.

As a result of Greens negotiations, significant changes have been made to the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 that risked criminalising people experiencing addiction. The changes include:

  1. Vapes will be available from a chemist as a Schedule 3 pharmacist-only medication for adults over 18 years old, rather than requiring a prescription from a GP. These will be plain packaged with regulated nicotine content. Data of vape purchasers will not be recorded.
  2. Possession of personal use quantities of any form of vape will not be subject to criminal charges. There will be an 8-month personal possession amnesty period. Commercial quantities sold by retailers other than pharmacies will be unlawful.
  3. GPs can continue to prescribe nicotine including vapes, and a prescription will be the only pathway for vapes for people under 18 if they are deemed clinically appropriate. 
  4. As this is world-leading legislation, there will be a review of this legislation after three years to assess its impact.
  5. There will be an expanded disposal framework via pharmacies.
  6. There will be stronger regulations around advertising to healthcare professionals.
  7. Additional funding will be announced to support young people quitting vaping.

 

Quotes attributable to Dr Amanda Cohn MLC, Greens NSW Spokesperson for Health including Mental Health, Greens NSW Spokesperson for Youth and former GP:

“To reduce the harms of vaping, we need sensible regulation. I know from my own experience as a GP that the prescription-only model put forward by Labor would have been a misuse of doctors’ time and skills, especially when too many people are already waiting weeks for an appointment.

“This legislation as amended by the Greens provides appropriate legal access to vapes without barriers that would likely drive people to the black market or to cigarettes. The Greens have also ensured that nobody will be criminalised for personal possession or use of vapes. 

“Some young people could have been using vapes for five years or more before this overdue reform was announced. Young people need tailored support to help them quit and the Greens have secured funding for this critical support.

“Disposable vapes with lithium-ion batteries being littered pose a huge threat to our natural environment. The agreement that has been reached will enable recycling, and future product stewardship initiatives.”

 

Media contact: Josh Appleton - [email protected] - 02 9230 2566

profile image
Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
25 June 2024
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