Australia's current nicotine vaping regulations have proven to be largely ineffective, with a thriving black market selling unregulated vape products to both children and adults. This situation calls for a re-evaluation of the existing policies in favour of a strictly regulated retail sales model.
Current regulations require nicotine vaping products to be prescribed by a doctor and sold only in pharmacies to adults seeking to quit smoking. However, this approach has resulted in the development of an unregulated black market, which circumvents these restrictions and poses significant risks to consumers.
Instead, experts recommend adopting an age-restricted consumer model that would limit youth access to vaping products while still offering adult smokers a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes. By implementing stricter retail regulations, the black market's profitability would decline, and illicit sales would gradually be replaced by a legal, regulated market.
Doubling down on existing failed vaping regulations won't work. Instead, Australia needs to adopt a strictly regulated retail sales model, with age restrictions and stringent verification processes, to create a strictly controlled retail environment for adult vapers seeking to purchase regulated products and to protect vulnerable youth from accessing these products.
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