With the Public Health Tobacco and Other Products Bill scheduled for debate this Tuesday, new RedBridge research has found the overwhelming majority of Australians want vaping products to be regulated in the same way as tobacco and alcohol.
The poll, which focused on ‘attitudes toward the regulation of nicotine vapes in Australia’ found nearly 90 per cent of Australian voters agree or strongly agree that regulated nicotine vaping products should be available for sale to adults aged 18 and older through licensed retail outlets – the same way that alcohol and tobacco products are.
The polling was commissioned by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) and found broad bipartisan support for strict regulation among supporters of the major political parties, AACS CEO Theo Foukkare said.
“It found 88 per cent of Coalition voters, 90 per cent of Labor supporters and 93 per cent of Greens voters either agree, or strongly agree, that nicotine vapes should be strictly regulated and sold the same way that alcohol and tobacco are,” he said.
“Whether its parents dealing with the harsh reality of the youth vaping crisis, or adults who want access to strictly regulated products with ingredient standards, there is overwhelming support across all demographics to fix Australia’s black market vaping crisis by adopting the commonsense solution of regulating vapes in the same way as tobacco.”
The poll also found voters believe the Federal Government’s current policy, which bans the sale of nicotine vapes without a GP prescription, had failed.
“Nearly 70 per cent of all voters rated the government’s efforts to manage the regulation of nicotine vaping products as either ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’,” Mr Foukkare said.
“Just 15 per cent rated it as acceptable and only one per cent said the government’s efforts were ‘very good’.
The RedBridge poll also found low confidence among voters in the current ‘prescription only’ policy.
“Just two per cent of Aussies say they are very confident in the current rules that force anyone who wants to access a vape as a quit smoking aid to go to the GP and get a prescription,” he said.
The RedBridge Poll also found 61 per cent of voters would consider voting for a political party that has a policy to strictly regulate nicotine vaping products in the same way as alcohol and tobacco.
“The continued failure to strictly regulate the sale of vapes that are manufactured to a specific code and sold as an 18-and-over product is becoming a major political issue for voters and it is time for all politicians from across the divide to heed that message,” he said.
“The Albanese Government has an opportunity to fix Australia’s vaping crisis once and for all by extending their Tobacco Control Bill top regulate vapes in the same way that cigarettes and alcohol are.
“This poll should send a big wakeup call – not only to the Health Minister Mark Butler, who is overseeing one of the worst health policy failures in Australia’s history – but to all political parties; Australians want you to fix this mess now,” Mr Foukkare said
“All we have seen is a booming black market – littered with dangerous, poorly manufactured vapes that continue to fall into the hands of unsuspecting Australians.
“Voters of all political persuasions are clearly fed up with Health Minister Mark Butler’s failure to fix this crisis and they don’t believe Labor is doing anything to stop the black market from continuing to rapidly grow and sell unregulated products to children.
“Without amendments Labor’s tobacco bill is half-baked and does nothing to fix Australia’s rampant unregulated vaping black market,” Mr Fouukkare said.
Theo Foukkare is available for interview on 0423 003 133
To view the full RedBridge research click here: https://aacs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Research-into-attitudes-towards-nicotine-vapes-2023-09-27.pdf
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