St.LukesHealth says a survey of its members has revealed high levels of concern about vaping and vaping products, with almost 90 per cent of respondents supporting a ban.
The insurer said its survey also found 95 per cent of respondents were concerned about vaping as a health issue, with almost 80 per cent stating they were “very concerned”.
St.LukesHealth CEO Paul Lupo said the organisation has been urging policymakers to take note of growing community concern, take a stand and ban vaping and vaping products.
“We have a once-in-a-generation chance to do the right thing by our kids and make sure Big Tobacco doesn’t find another way to trap people into a lifetime of addiction, chronic disease and premature death,” said Mr Lupo.
“Our survey gives clear evidence that people are worried and want to see vapes banned, so governments need to take heed and stop allowing these products to fall into the hands, mouths and lungs of our children.”
The TGA is reviewing the regulation of vaping products, including those containing nicotine. Currently, nicotine vaping products are lawfully only available from pharmacists with a prescription.
“If we are serious about improving the health of Australians, if we are serious about not wanting our children to come to harm, if we are serious about not having our health policies dictated by Big Tobacco, now is the time for strong action,” he said.
“Stopping a new generation from becoming addicted to another harmful product, with all the social and economic benefits that would bring, should be Minister Butler’s and the Federal Government’s legacy.”
Mr Lupo said St.LukesHealth had submitted the TGA's review.
“St.LukesHealth wants vaping products gone. The only place we see they potentially may have a role is under prescription to assist a smoker to overcome a tobacco addiction, in cases where other methods have not been successful.” he said.
“Good health policy isn’t always easy, but this is about our kids and what may happen to them if vapes are allowed to proliferate, creating yet another market for Big Tobacco and all the poor health outcomes that go with it.
“Mr Butler made all the right noises last week. For the sake of young Tasmanians, let’s hope he turns those words into action.”