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WHO urges ban on all vape flavours

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Global vaping popularity has almost tripled since 2015, though the World Health Organisation warns that reforms haven't kept up.
Global vaping popularity

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for a ban on flavoured vapes and e-cigarette sales.

The proposals were put forward in a new WHO policy document released on Thursday.

It comes ahead of measures to restrict the use of recreational vapes in Australia, which will begin rolling out next year.

Global vaping popularity

According to the WHO, between 2015 and 2022, the global vaping market tripled in value to over $US22 billion ($AU33 billion).

Vaping products are often marketed as a tool to help smokers quit cigarettes. However, the WHO claims it hasn’t found any evidence to suggest vapes are effective for this purpose, and noted research suggesting vapes “may lead to ongoing dependence on nicotine”.

The WHO also flagged concern over children and young people being targeted by online marketing.

WHO policy

The WHO put forward two different approaches that could be adopted by countries to limit the rise of vaping. One was a complete vaping ban supported by significant participation and enforcement from world leaders.

It also suggested a regulatory approach with several measures to limit the accessibility and appeal of vaping. This included a ban on vape flavours, which often mimic the taste of fruit and lollies.

Vape flavours can also mask the harsh taste of nicotine, which may otherwise turn people away.

The WHO’s regulatory approach also suggested restrictions of misleading or deceptive claims about vapes, such as exaggerating their usefulness for quitting cigarettes.

Limiting nicotine concentration and raising taxes on the product would also form part of the model.

It called for strong enforcement action to prevent the sale of vapes to children, and for greater government monitoring of e-cigarette use. However, the WHO does not have powers to regulate vape use in individual countries.

Australian bans

Recreational vapes will be banned from entering Australia from the start of next month. The import ban will extend to reusable vapes in March.

The Federal Government is also expected to table legislation next year to prevent recreational vapes being produced in Australia.

It’s hoped that these measures will make it extremely difficult to buy a recreational vape in Australia.

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