The Health Minister’s blatant failure to allocate a single dollar towards black market vaping enforcement in the budget shows that he has no real plan to manage the escalating youth vaping crisis.

“Despite announcing a ‘vape police’ crackdown last week, the Health Minister has not developed any solid plan, nor has he sought funding from the Treasury, his own Department, Cabinet, or the Expenditure Review Committee,” ACCS CEO Theo Foukkare said

“Doubling down on the failed prescription-only prohibition framework, without any funding for enforcement, is nothing short of catastrophic.

“The more than 90 million illegal vapes flooding our shores from China will only continue to grow, with criminal syndicates laughing at the Minister’s non-existent attempt to address this crisis.

“The Health Minister’s incompetence is further compounded by the Australian Government’s decision to slash funding for the Australian Border Force (ABF) border enforcement program.

“Rather than bolstering border enforcement to combat the tsunami of illegal vapes, the Government has chosen to undermine the very agency responsible for stopping this black market trade at the border.

“Australian communities, schools, and parents will be the ones to bear the brunt of the Minister’s fake vape crackdown as the youth vaping crisis spirals out of control.

“The overwhelming majority of Australian’s believe vaping products should be subject to stringent regulations, just like tobacco and alcohol.

“Prohibition has never worked, and it’s a complete joke under Black Market Butler’s non-existent enforcement strategy,” Mr Foukkare said.

“The Health Minister’s negligence in this matter is staggering. By failing to introduce strict adult consumer regulations to drive down the black market and stop youth vaping, he’s letting down the very people he is meant to protect.

“Youth smoking rates have been driven to record lows through proper tobacco control; it’s time a similar approach was applied to vaping products.

“In contrast to the Health Minister’s failure, AACS is grateful for the leadership demonstrated by the Treasurer, Energy Minister, and Small Business Minister in supporting our members,” Mr Foukkare said.

“Their commitment to implementing the $20,000 instant asset write-off, tax deductions for energy use reduction through equipment and solar installations, and cybersecurity training support will make a significant difference to our membership.

“These measures reflect the proactive and collaborative approach that our industry and the Australian public expect from their government, and we applaud their dedication to our membership.”
Theo Foukkare is available for interview on 0423 003 133.

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