Pittwater MP Calls for blitz on vape stores
Pittwater MP Rory Amon has called for immediate measures to stamp out the rise of vapes use among younger residents in the NSW Parliament last week.The discussion of the inappropriate placement of vapes stores where our children and young adults gather continues in our community, with parents and grandparents, teachers and carers already seeing the impacts of yet another nicotine product on the next generation.
''To support concerned parents and teachers, and ensure our laws are enforced, the Government should implement the following measures urgently: an undercover blitz on stores and individuals selling vapes to children; increasing fines by 10-fold on those who sell vapes to children, which would increase the fine on individuals from $11,000 to $110,000 and the fine on a corporation from $55,000 to $550,000, a strong message which would help change behaviour; an immediate media campaign regarding increased enforcement action, and an education campaign targeted at kids; and the immediate rollout of vape detectors in all New South Wales schools. Those measures can be implemented now. '' Mr. Amon said on Tuesday August 22
''Each week my office receives calls and emails from worried parents, teachers and community members about the rise of vaping amongst children. It is well known that vaping is becoming more common among kids. That is deeply concerning. Vaping threatens not only kids' health but also their education. Research indicates that between 20 per cent and 60 per cent of high school students have vaped, including children as young as 11 years old. Many of those children are already addicted to vaping, with teachers reporting that some students are unable to wait until the end of the day, or even lunchtime, instead vaping inside the classroom.'' the Member for Pittwater stated
Pittwater MP Rory Amon
In December 2022 Federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced a new range of measures to re-ignite the fight against tobacco and start a new phase of tobacco control in Australia.
- stop the import of non-prescription vapes;
- increase the minimum quality standards for vapes including by restricting flavours, colours, and other ingredients;
- require pharmaceutical-like packaging;
- reduce the allowed nicotine concentrations and volumes; and
- ban all single use, disposable vapes.
Parents are calling for more scrutiny by those granting these leases, and those serving in the State and Federal health departments to ensure these locations cannot be used to target teenagers by the 'vapes' industry, which their chosen locations and signage would infer.
A 2020 study found that ''Findings suggest that, in some MSAs, vape shops and convenience stores may target youth and lower income populations.''
''Let me be clear, these remarks are not about adults who vape. That is a separate matter. '' Mr. Amon said
''This is about keeping our kids safe. It is clear that the Government must do more to address the epidemic of vaping amongst children. I am concerned that violations of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 are becoming more common. Any form of vaping is illegal for kids in Australia and New South Wales, yet research indicates that nearly 80 per cent of children believe it is easy to obtain a vape at a shop or online.
Vapes containing nicotine are meant to be illegal in New South Wales, but a lack of transparency regarding the contents of vapes means children are unknowingly damaging their health and developing addiction. Under section 16 of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, advertisement of vapes is illegal.
However, many shopfronts display the word "vape", unchallenged by the Government. This must be stopped. Vaping is a serious issue, which requires laser-focused action. I implore the Government to take immediate action to prevent children from vaping.''
signage for a vape store at Mona Vale, with a signboard that faces towards the main bus-stop where students