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Medical Health Aged Care

RACGP: new vaping rules will save children’s lungs

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

Australia’s peak GP body has welcomed the Senate passing reforms cracking down on the market for nicotine vapes. 

The Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 passed today restricting advertising, packaging and flavours for vapes. Under the changes, people over 18 will be able to purchase plain packaged nicotine vapes from pharmacies, while those under 18 will need a GP prescription  

Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) President Dr Nicole Higgins said GPs support stricter regulations on vaping. 

“This is about saving children’s lungs and younger generations from getting hooked on nicotine,” she said. 

“Emerging evidence of the health impacts of nicotine vaping is alarming, including serious respiratory issues, throat irritation, headaches and nicotine overdose, which can cause a loss of consciousness.  

We need to do all we can to keep these products out of young hands. These reforms will help as they make retail sales illegal, as well as putting an end to lolly-like flavours and colours designed to attract children. 

“People shouldn’t think of pharmacists as the new corner store. Anyone over 18 who wants to buy a vape can only do so to help quit smoking and will need to talk to their pharmacist about their health and the options available to quit.  

“The RACGP remains a strong advocate for a medical approach, and for people who want help to quit nicotine to get expert support from their GP, and evidence-based methods to quit. Vapes are only recommended as a second line aid for quitting in health guidelines, after people have tried other options, such as nicotine patches. It’s also important that a person’s vape use is monitored, as it should only be a short-term treatment, and can be harmful if they’re still smoking cigarettes. 

I encourage anyone who wants help quitting nicotine to see their GP for medical expertise and evidence-based methods to give up for good. GPs have helped countless Australians quit nicotine over the years. We know counselling and ongoing support is crucial, and what methods are proven to work.” 


About us:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

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Contact details:

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Media Adviser

Ally Francis
Media Adviser

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Media Officer

Contact: 03 8699

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