Wednesday, July 24, 2024

NSW ignites $6.8m investment for vapes crackdown

The NSW Government has committed $6.8 million over three years to invest in a crackdown on the sale of illegal vapes and increase for support for young people who are addicted to vaping.

The Government investment will commit:

  • $4.3 million over the next 3 years to bolster compliance and enforcement to ensure the state meets responsibilities for retail, wholesale, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical controls on vaping products.
  • $2.5 million over the next 12 months to increase services to help young people quit vaping including a new digital platform, enhancements to the iCanQuit platform and an online learning module for youth services across the state.

The Government says ongoing work by NSW Health highlighted just how important it is further action is taken on the sale of illegal vapes, and provisions are made to support young people who are addicted to vaping.

The warning to retailers comes amid new research conducted by the University of Wollongong, funded and commissioned by NSW Health, to test vapes for nicotine and other toxic chemicals known to harm health.

The sample included 428 vapes seized from retailers and 322 vapes surrendered by children at Sydney schools.

High nicotine concentrations were detected in 737 of the 750 vaping devices analysed in the study. Most of which did not have nicotine listed as an active ingredient. 

Concerningly, 30 of the devices contained at least one substance known to harm health, including toxic chemicals banned from legal nicotine containing vapes by the Therapeutic Goods Administration like ethylene glycol, which is also found in antifreeze.

“The University of Wollongong research shows there is no such thing as a safe vape as you just don’t know what is in them,” said NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant.

“This is especially true for children who are increasingly being exposed to high concentrations of nicotine and in some cases known toxic substances.

“As more vapes become available, we are seeing more people seeking help from health services for vaping-related health issues.

“The number of vaping-related calls to the NSW Poison Information Centre has tripled since 2020. What is most concerning is 71% of these calls were about nicotine poisonings in children under 4 years of age.”

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