The Australian government has recently announced new restrictions on vaping (e-cigarette) products, which will see them treated more like prescription drugs. Minimum quality and labelling standards will be introduced, allowable nicotine volumes will be reduced, and products will be available only through pharmacies.
The reforms aim to make it easier for smokers to quit tobacco smoking – the leading preventable cause of death in Australia. Paperwork will be eliminated such that going forward all GPs will be able to provide a prescription for a suitable vaping product to appropriate patients.
Clearly the government’s other intent is to restrict the supply of vaping products to children, but the risk of course is that the distribution of single-use and other non-prescription vaping products will shift underground, and they will remain available (as well as attractive and affordable) to children. So, what are the risks of vaping products to children and young adults? They include;
- Vaping products often contain nicotine (sometimes even when the labelling states “nicotine free”), a drug that’s highly addictive.
- Anxiety and depression. Nicotine makes anxiety and depression worse. It also impacts memory, concentration, self-control, and attention, especially in brains younger than 25 years old.
- Sleep problems.
- Chronic bronchitis, lung damage, exposure to cancer-causing chemicals…
- And finally, if you vape, you are more likely to take up tobacco and become a smoker… Which means more of all the above.
If you or your younger loved ones use vaping products, and you would like some help to stop, make an appointment with your favourite Turn The Corner doctor today.