The TGA has launched a consultation process on proposals that aim to curb the use of nicotine vaping products by children and adolescents.
Health minister Mark Butler officially launched the six-week consultation process that is seeking feedback on tougher import controls, the pre-market TGA assessment of nicotine vaping products against a product standard, minimum quality and safety standards to make them less attractive to children and adolescents, and clarifying the status of nicotine vaping products as therapeutic goods.
Mr Butler launched the new consultation process on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of tobacco plain packaging laws.
"But I've heard a very clear message from the public health sector, and from parents and school communities that these vapes that are marketed out there with pink unicorns, bubble gum flavours, fruit flavours - they are not being marketed to adults. That is clearly a marketing that's pitched to young children and very young adolescents," he said.
"We know that particularly over the period of COVID vaping rates skyrocketed and we now have a very serious challenge ahead of us, which is why we need all levels and agencies of government in on this. We need not just health portfolios, but policing and border control portfolios as well. We've begun that discussion in our short few months in government. I know state Health Ministers keep telling me at our regular meetings, they want to see coordinated action. We've got a meeting in January, particularly to start talking these issues through."
At present, nicotine vaping products can only be lawfully obtained from a pharmacy with a prescription.
Mr Butler did not rule out the adoption of a regime similar to that in New Zealand where the products are widely available.