Heart Foundation Northern Territory and Cancer Council NT joined forces on the weekend to call for bans on the sale of e-cigarettes to children as they become increasingly popular in the Territory, just weeks after the NSW Cancer Council called for e-cigarettes to be regulated in the same way as tobacco sales.
The NT move came as adult industry lobby groups the Eros Association and the Australian Sex Party pushed for tobacconists and other cigarette sales points to become adults-only premises.
The Eros Association has encouraged its more than 200 members, mostly adult retailers that also includes tobacconists, to seek a licence to sell tobacco, saying it’s an adult product and should be sold in an appropriate environment.
Australian Sex Party Victorian MP Fiona Patten, who was the Eros Association CEO for 20 years, said she planned to raise the issue in the Victorian Parliament.
Quit Victoria and Cancer Council Australia said the idea should be considered by states and territories, along with other measures to restrict the availability of tobacco, saying children seeing the sale of tobacco helped normalise smoking.
In the Territory, Heart Foundation NT CEO Simon Dixon said: “Subjecting e-cigarettes to the same regulations as regular cigarettes is the best way to ensure the hard-won reduction in smoking rates of recent years are not undermined by those peddling new smoking devices.”
Mr Dixon said under the current laws it was legal to sell e-cigarettes to children. “We would like to see the NT Government remedy this loophole,” he said.
While the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in the NT, there is no regulation around the sale of e-cigarettes not containing nicotine, such as those containing chocolate and fruit flavours.
Cancer Council NT CEO Kathy Sadler said it would welcome moves by the government to ban e-cigarettes.