E-cigarette reforms welcomed

Nine in 10 parents of teens want to see greater action to protect young people from e-cigarette harm (Unsplash).

VicHealth has welcomed the federal government’s focus on preventive health in the budget, with $737 million for reducing e-cigarette and tobacco harm and $91.1 million for disease control.

In the budget, handed down Tuesday, May 9, the federal government announced $91.1 million will be placed towards establishing an Australian Centre for Disease Control.

VicHealth said the announcement reflects the strong desire for action, with a national survey finding nine in 10 parents of teens and eight in 10 young people want to see greater action to protect young people from e-cigarette harm.

VicHealth chief executive Dr Sandro Demaio welcomed the measures, including increased support to help people quit smoking and vaping and a $63.4 million awareness campaign.

“The funding allocated in the Federal Budget is a welcome step towards protecting the community from e-cigarette harm and places Australia back where it belongs, as a global leader in tobacco control,” Dr Demaio said.

“E-cigarettes can contain up to 200 toxic chemicals… [which] are known to cause cancer and damage our brains… there is strong community support for government action on vaping.

“It’s fantastic to see the federal government responding to prevent a new generation of young people getting hooked on nicotine.”

Additional budget health funding includes; $378.8 million for preventive health measures and $200 million towards funding place-based partnerships to create healthier communities.