The ‘Dirty Ashtray Award’, given annually by the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) and the AMA, was awarded this year jointly to Queensland and Victoria, as well as to vaping sellers who illegally supply electronic cigarettes to young people.
At the awards ceremony, outgoing AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid called on Queensland and Victoria to require all tobacco retailers to be licensed in order to protect young people from the enormous harm caused by tobacco products .
“Inadequate priority has been given in these jurisdictions to implementing and enforcing existing national laws, in order to prevent the sale of illegal e-cigarettes to children and adolescents,” Dr Khorshid said.
“Retailers of tobacco products in both states are not required to be licensed, which makes it very difficult to enforce and enforce existing laws.”
Dr Khorshid said vape vendors must be held accountable for their contribution to undermining public health and safety.
“It is illegal in Australia to sell, supply or possess nicotine vaping products without a doctor’s prescription. However, a lack of enforcement means these products are easily accessible and available online and in stores across the country.
“We are extremely concerned about the increasing and unacceptable levels of e-cigarette use among young people aged 18-24 and secondary and primary school students. Many vaping products appeal directly to children with their bright, colorful packaging and fruity flavors, creating the illusion of being a safer alternative to smoking.