Vape ban will hit struggling Australians the hardest

Over eight in ten voters believe that vapes should be regulated and sold the same way as alcohol and tobacco, new research has found.

The research, conducted by RedBridge and commissioned by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), also found that those under greater financial stress were more likely to vape and therefore be hurt the most from the Government’s vape ban.

Theo Foukkare, CEO of AACS, said these results serve as a stark warning for the Albanese Government that their impending vaping legislation is deeply unpopular with voters and extremely out of touch with community expectations.

“As Australians battle against a cost-of-living crisis, Health Minister Mark Butler’s laws will cruelly hit the 13 per cent of adults who are under the most financial stress with a tripling of costs when they are forced to pay $150 for a legal medical vape.”

Treating nicotine vapes as a medicine proved unpopular, with 74 per cent of voters believing it sends the wrong message to the community.

“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of Australian voters don’t believe vapes are a medical product, and they want the market to be strictly controlled in the same way as tobacco and alcohol.”

The discontent amongst voters about the vape policy is evident, with only two per cent of voters believing governments are doing a ‘very good job’ in managing the regulation of vapes.

“While comparable countries like New Zealand and the United States are reducing youth vaping rates through strict tobacco-like controls with mandatory restrictions on flavours, nicotine limits, and packaging, Australia has been turned into the wild west of black-market activity with criminals selling unregulated vapes designed to target kids online and near schools.”

Foukkare said that if the Government continues its new vape ban, the 1.7 million adults who vape will continue to buy from the black market because they are simply unable or unwilling to pay $150 for a medical vape prescribed by a doctor, that is, if they can get a medical appointment during this cost-of-living crisis.

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