[1/2] Vape pens stand in a display cabinet at a vape store, in Melbourne, Australia, May 2, 2023.
REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsSYDNEY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Australia will ban imports of disposable vapes in January, the Health Minister said on Tuesday, the first step in a crackdown aimed at curbing the growing popularity of these nicotine-filled devices with young people.
Despite one of the lowest rates of smoking in the OECD, a group of mostly rich countries, vaping in Australia is growing rapidly, especially among the young.
First flagged in August, the reforms aim to curb the device's popularity in response to research showing the potential for long-term harm.
To ensure the bans don't limit access for smokers looking to quit, doctors and nurses will be given expanded powers in January to prescribe therapeutic vapes where clinically appropriate.
Sandra Sanders, Mark Butler, Butler, Lewis Jackson, Miral
REUTERS, Rights, Health, Australian Border Force, Therapeutic Goods Administration, OECD, Thomson