Even stronger action to snuff out vaping crisis
Published Wednesday, 25 October, 2023 at 11:20 AM
Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
- The Palaszczuk Government has announced a $28.4 million package to tackle the vaping crisis in Queensland.
- The package will include $2 million this year, and then $5 million annually, to strengthen enforcement of vaping laws and establish a Task Force with the Commonwealth.
- Greater education for young people and an expansion of Quitline will also be delivered.
The Palaszczuk Government has announced $28.4 million over five years as part of its response to a parliamentary inquiry into reducing vaping in Queensland.
The Health and Environment Committee’s report, handed down in August, made 14 recommendations aimed at tackling the vaping crisis, including targeting the illegal importation of vapes, and providing greater education for young people.
The Government has accepted all 14 recommendations.
As part of the response, the Government will commit $2 million in 2023-24, and then $5 million annually, to support Public Health Units to better enforce vaping laws and establish a joint Task Force with the Commonwealth.
An investment of $500,000 will be made in this financial year, followed by $1 million annually to expand the Quitline service and provide more support for people who are trying to quit vaping.
Funding will also go towards co-designing and rolling out a support program for school-aged children with nicotine dependency.
This follows a suite of measures already announced by the Palaszczuk Government to tackle the vaping crisis, including the roll out of the youth-focused There’s Nothing Sweet About Vapes campaign, stronger laws passed earlier this year targeting illicit tobacco and vaping products, and a series of coordinated raids carried out with the Australian Border Force.
Since tougher laws were passed in May this year, at least 170,000 illegal vapes have been seized in Queensland, with a street value of $5.1 million.
People requiring support to quit vaping or smoking can call Quitline on 13 78 48.
Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:
“Keeping Queenslanders safe is our first priority and these addictive e-cigarettes are being marketed to our youngest Queenslanders.
“Nearly one in five kids aged 15-17 have tried a vape.
“To show how serious our Government is about tackling this issue, we will invest $28.4 million into a number of initiatives, including prevention, more support and law enforcement.
“There is always more work to do, but we know we are on the right path to a healthier Queensland.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:
“We have been relentless in the struggle against the vaping crisis in Queensland, and today’s announcement is the next strong step.
“We have already seen great success from our advertising campaign targeted at young people and we have worked co-operatively with the Federal Government to crack down on illegal suppliers – but there is more to do.
“This $28.4 million package will mean stronger enforcement, better education, and more support for people trying to quit vaping.”
“One vape is equivalent to 400 cigarettes. The fact that they are being targeted to children, with bright colours and sweet flavours, is frankly disgusting.
“The Palaszczuk Government will not stand by and let the next generation become addicted to nicotine and vaping, while exposing our health system to further unnecessary burdens.”
Quotes Attributable to Minister for Education Grace Grace:
“We’ve already banned vaping in Queensland schools and within five metres of their boundaries, and recently passed legislation to extend no smoking areas to all school car parks.
“We’re also increasing our efforts to educate students of its dangers.
“This includes investing $5 million to give all Queensland schools access to the innovative alcohol and drug education program the Blurred Minds Academy.
“It’s cutting-edge online learning platforms like this which empower students and teachers with the relevant resources to stand up against vaping and other drugs.
“The additional $28.4 million now being committed is another important part of our fight against the scourge of vaping.”