More than 90,000 Australian adults have taken up vaping over the past three months, taking the total number of adults vapers to 1,723,000 – new Roy Morgan data has revealed.

Almost 400,000 Australians took up vaping between December 2022 and December 2023 – which equates to a 30 per cent surge in uptake year-on-year, the Roy Morgan survey, commissioned by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) found.

Nationally, the number of adult vapers has grown by 349 per cent over the past five years and the Roy Morgan survey also found New South Wales had seen the biggest growth in vaping numbers, with an uptake of more than 470 per cent; that means more than half a million people aged over 18 took up vaping in that NSW since December 2019.

Victoria’s adult vaping numbers have increased by 355 per cent over the same survey period, while Western Australia has seen a 329 per cent increase in adults who vape, the Roy Morgan data has revealed.

Shockingly, the state with the smallest population, Tasmania, saw a 322 per cent increase in the number of adults who vape.
AACS CEO Theo Foukkare said the Roy Morgan survey results showed the black market for nicotine vapes in Australia is booming and the Albanese Government was pushing Aussies right into the arms of the illegal trade.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Health Minister Mark Butler are simultaneously creating another burden during the cost-of-living crisis by forcing adults who vape to see a doctor and pay $150 – around five times the amount for a black market vape – to access a legal one from the chemist.

“With around 90 per cent of all vapers buying from the black market, this 30 per cent increase in adult vapers indicates there are now more than 120 million unregulated illegal vapes flooding Australia every year.

“The majority of Aussies are struggling to put food on the table, so forcing them to pay the Medicare gap to see a doctor so that they can then go to a pharmacy and pay $150 for one will just send more and more people to the black market where they can easily access cheap, yet dangerous, nicotine vapes that have been made with insidious chemicals in China,” Mt Foukkare said.

He said new laws are incredibly flawed.

“The Albanese Government’s own modelling shows around 450,000 Aussies are expected to head to the GP twice this year to get a vape prescription – that’s almost a million doctors’ appointments needed,” Mr Foukkare said.

“If all 1.7 million Australians who vape end up getting a prescription twice a year, that would lead to a staggering 3.5 million extra doctors’ appointments on top of an already crippled healthcare system.

“That will cost Medicare just under $140 million.

“The only way to starve black-market demand is to regulate the sale of nicotine vapes the same way we do for tobacco and alcohol, where only licensed, responsible retailers are allowed to sell products made following strictly legislated rules for nicotine levels, ingredients, flavours and packaging,” Mr Foukkare said.

Theo Foukkare is available for interview on 0423 003 133

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