Top Health Experts to Address Teen Vaping Crisis

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Public health experts are calling for updated advertising laws to stop the promotion of vaping among young people on social media.

Experts are weighing possible solutions to the looming youth vaping crisis ahead of a public consultation period on nicotine e-cigarette reforms.

Sandro Demaio, VicHealth’s chief executive health officer, said companies are targeting young people by using fruity flavors, childish packaging and styling the products, such as hoodie toggles or highlighters.

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“Young people are clearly being targeted and very successful, the government needs to step up and take action,” he told Channel Seven.

He said companies also used social media to market vaping products to young people.

“Our billboard is now in our pocket, not on the street – we need to make sure our advertising rules are updated to protect young people.”

Loaded with nicotine

Victoria’s Health Promotion Foundation also wants stricter border restrictions on these products, a restriction on retail sales and more support services for addicted youth.

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Dr. Demaio said the industry used a loophole on nicotine-free e-cigarettes as a “Trojan horse”, with research showing that many products contained nicotine despite packaging suggesting otherwise.

Health Minister Mark Butler announced the review of Australia’s regulatory framework in late November, hoping to quickly introduce taste and labeling controls on imports.

“Why on earth would you market bubble gum flavored vapes with pink unicorns on them, except to appeal to children, not even adolescents, young children?” he said in November.

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The reforms aim to prevent youth access and support adults to access regulated smoking cessation products with a doctor’s approval.

Submissions for the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) reforms on nicotine vaping products close on Monday, January 16.

-MONKEY

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