Australia has announced strict measures to curb vaping
Australia's Ministry of Health announced today strict measures to limit vaping
The reform, which has been billed as Australia's most significant anti-smoking initiative in a decade, sees a ban on single-use e-cigarettes, a suspension of imports of over-the-counter e-cigarettes and a cap on the nicotine they contain. The aim is for e-cigarettes to be used only to help smokers quit smoking.
Under the new regulations, e-cigarettes will be sold exclusively in pharmacies and must have a "pharmaceutical-style" package.
Australia has long had a voluntary smoking cessation policy and in 2012 became the first country to impose "neutral" cigarette packaging, a practice that has since been adopted by several countries.
Due to the high tax on tobacco sales, a pack of 25 cigarettes in Australia costs about $50 (about €30).
Australian Health Minister Mark Butler also announced a 5% tax increase on tobacco sales over the next three years.
In recent years Canberra has struggled to curb the explosion in e-cigarette use, particularly among young people.
"Vaping has become the biggest behavior problem in high schools and is spreading to elementary schools," Butler complained.
"As with tobacco, the biggest international companies in the industry have taken another addictive product, put it in an attractive package and flavored it to create a new generation addicted to nicotine," he added.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the country has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, but the number of under-25s taking up smoking has increased.