A world-leading law banning the sale of vapes outside of pharmacies has passed in Australia - a bold move that New Zealand should emulate to protect its youth.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ has been closely following the vaping law reform, after making a submission in support of the ban.

Australia's new law allows people aged over 18 years old to purchase plain-packaged nicotine vapes, not exceeding 20mg/mL, from a pharmacist. Those under 18 years old will still need a prescription from their health practitioner or doctor.

Foundation Medical Director Professor Bob Hancox says he commends Australia for taking such a bold step in the fight against the youth vaping epidemic.

"This legislation sets a powerful example for New Zealand and other countries grappling with the rise of vaping amongst young people.

"While most countries are sitting on their hands, unsure how to tackle this problem, our neighbours across the ditch are taking decisive action to try and get this public health crisis under control."

New Zealand now has the opportunity to implement similar measures to protect our youth, Professor Hancox says.

"While our Government plans to ban disposable vapes, Australia’s world-leading law tackles the issue head-on and aims to make a real difference.

"We urge our policymakers to take a leaf out of Australia's book and adopt a similarly robust approach as part of a broader strategy to combat the youth vaping epidemic."

In Australia, daily vaping rates are 2% among 12-15 year olds and 6% among 16-17 year olds.

In New Zealand, about 15% of 15-17 year olds vape.


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