Queensland Gets ‘Dirty Ashtray Award’ As Community Concerns Escalate Over Vaping
"Serious public health risk"
The Queensland Government has been given the ‘Dirty Ashtray Award’ from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health and the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
The title was awarded following a survey conducted by the Cancer Council in September, which found 69 per cent of Queenslanders believe e-cigarettes are highly addictive.
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Of the 3.522 Queensland adults surveyed, most believe that vaping should be banned in public places, while 80 per cent were convinced that vaping should not be allowed on public transport, in pubs, or restaurants as well as other outdoor venues.
Calls to ban e-cigarette advertising on social media has also ramped up as the rate of young people vaping has increased, with "a new generation of users" being targeted with brightly coloured packaging and sweet flavours.
Sarah White, director of Quit, an anti-smoking support program, said the results clearly reflected "widespread community concern" about vaping.
"We're seeing really high support for regulation that effectively protects future generations from addiction," she told the ABC.
Dr White said Queensland needs to implement a retail licensing scheme to avoid a "serious public health risk".
"Cancer Council would like to see that enforcement at the state and territory level so that the retailers who are doing the wrong thing by selling e-cigarettes to kids, or selling e-cigarettes that contain nicotine in them, which is illegal, we'd like to see that enforcement really stepped up," she said.
"We definitely also need the federal government to do more to stop the illegal import of illegal cigarettes containing nicotine."
"Queensland's done a really good job at introducing smoke-free legislation, so they have really good protections around smoke-free areas," she said.
"I think it's really important that people understand that e-cigarettes are supposed to be covered by smoke-free legislation because people are still inhaling all sorts of things from those e-cigarettes and if you're around someone who's vaping, you're inhaling that too."
- Dr White
Although in Australia, vapes containing nicotine require a prescription, it remains hard to tell which products contain the addictive chemical and which ones don’t.
To report breaches of vaping restrictions, call 13 74 68.
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