Why this week’s reform bill must pass without delay

24 Jun, 2024 | ACOSH Media Releases

This week the Senate will vote on one of the most important issues facing the health and future of our children and young people – the Vaping Reforms Bill – and an Open Letter published in The Canberra Times today shows the enormous range of community groups and health experts calling on MPs to pass the Bill immediately (attached).

The Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 is a response to scientific evidence and community outrage about the free-for-all access to vapes by Australian children and young people, their rapid uptake and the unacceptable consequences. Recent polling shows that the majority of Australians, across all political persuasions, support vapes being available only on prescription.

“Doctors and health professionals have repeatedly gone on record about the damage vaping does to our kids’ health. And parents and teachers are at their wits’ end, coping with kids who are becoming more addicted every week” said Laura Hunter, Co-CEO of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health which sponsored today’s Open Letter.

“We’ve now had a Senate Inquiry recommending that this Bill should pass. We know it will take vapes out of the hands of retailers who are openly selling vapes to kids, and into the hands of trusted health professionals, like doctors and nurse practitioners, who will prescribe vapes and have them dispensed through a pharmacy for people who need them to quit smoking.”

“The number one focus of the vaping reforms in this country needs to be on our children and young people, and every single day that this Bill is delayed, you can guarantee more children will be trying vapes, taking them up and getting hooked – setting them up for lifelong addiction.

“It’s no secret that the tobacco and vaping industry have a lot at stake here cultivating new generations of nicotine addicts. We know that easy access to vapes is the key to that addiction[1] and today our politicians have the means to end this. We urge them to act this week, as we cannot afford any delays”.

[1] Jongenelis MI, Gill M, Lawrence N, Wakefield CE. Quitting intentions and behaviours among young Australian e-cigarette users. Addiction. 2024. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.16530

List of Open Letter Signatories

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia
Anglican Schools Commission
Asthma Australia
Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance
Australian Council of Social Service
Australian Council on Smoking & Health
Australian Council of State School Organisations
Australian Dental Association
Australian Education Union
Australian Health Promotion Association
Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association
Australian Medical Association
Australian Nursing Federation
Australian Parents Council
Australian Secondary Principals Association
Australian Special Education Principals Association
Cancer Council
Catholic School Parents Queensland
Catholic Secondary Principals Australia
Climate and Health Alliance
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health
Commissioner for Children and Young People New South Wales
Commissioner for Children and Young People South Australia
Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia
Cystic Fibrosis Australia
Doctors for the Environment Australia
Environmental Health Australia
Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of New South Wales
Healthy Futures
Heart Foundation
Independent Schools Australia
Injury Matters
Lung Foundation Australia
McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer
Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia
Minderoo Foundation
National Catholic Education Commission
National Stroke Foundation
Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations
Office of the Children’s Commissioner Northern Territory
Parents and Citizens’ Association Queensland
Parents Victoria
Public Health Association of Australia
Queensland Family and Child Commission
Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Rural Health West
Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
State School Teachers Union of Western Australia
Tasmanian Association of State Schools Organisations
Telethon Kids Institute
The George Institute for Global Health
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
Tobacco Free Portfolios
Tobacco Free Program Australian National University
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc.
Wal-Yan Respiratory Research Centre
Westcare Inc
Western Australian Council of State School Organisations 


Professor Emily Banks AM, Australian National University
Professor Renee Bittoun, Nicotine Addiction Specialist
Professor Tom Calma AO FAA FASSA, National Coordinator Tackling Indigenous Smoking
Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman AO, University of Sydney
Emeritus Professor Donna Cross OAM FAHMS
Emeritus Professor Mike Daube AO, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University
Dr Kingsley Faulkner, Past President, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
Associate Professor Becky Freeman, The University of Sydney
Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis, The University of Melbourne
Professor Simone Pettigrew, The George Institute for Global Health
Dr Anthea Rhodes, Paediatrician, Director, RCH National Child Health Poll
Professor Philip Robinson, Director, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, The Royal Children’s Hospital
Professor Fiona Stanley AC FAA FASSA
Dr Moya Vandeleur, Respiratory and Sleep Paediatrician, The Royal Children’s Hospital

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