Australia's current prescription-only vaping laws have failed to achieve their intended goals. The approach of making nicotine vaping products illegal without a prescription has led to a booming black-market and has increased vaping among teens. Over 90% of nicotine vapers buy products illegally, highlighting the need for a shift in policy.
Prohibition has a long history of failure, as evidenced by the example of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. Banning or restricting substances drives them underground, creates a black market, and can lead to increased harm. Quality control becomes impossible, and access to these products may actually become easier for teens.
Countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States have adopted a more pragmatic regulatory approach. They allow the legal sale of vaping products to adults without a prescription but enforce strict quality controls, age restrictions, and usage guidelines. This ensures that adults have access to a regulated product, while also reducing access to minors.
To address the failure of Australia's prescription-only vaping laws, we must implement adult consumer regulations. Prohibition is not the answer. Australia needs to adopt adult consumer regulations to create a regulated and more effective approach to vaping laws.
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