Australia has taken a bold step forward in tackling the vaping crisis currently facing many countries throughout the world, through the implementation of a nationwide vaping crackdown.
This comes roughly twenty years after Australia’s highly successful anti-smoking campaign greatly reduced the levels of smoking over the course of many years, with measures such as increasing tax, banning advertising on tobacco products and imposing restrictions on where smoking is permitted in public places.
After realising the huge increase in the popularity of vaping, Australia has announced a series of strict measures to avoid a new generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine.
In May, the Federal government pledged to invest $737 million into tobacco and vaping control, including $63 million in public health campaigns and $30 million support programs to help people quit and educate health professionals. An additional $140 million to extend the ‘Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program’ to vaping.
A working group of the Australian Health Ministers has since been meeting to address the widespread and easy access to, and growing use of, vapes among adults and youth alike. 
Previously vape companies could circumvent regulation by not declaring on the packaging that they contained nicotine. 
Summary of Key Measures:
- Total ban on single use, disposable vapes: Australia has banned the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products, both with and without nicotine, within the country. 
- E-cigarettes will be prescription only intended to aid in the cessation of smoking. There will be quality standards restricting flavours, colours and other ingredients as well as a restriction on the amount of nicotine prescription vapes can contain.
- Public health campaigns – $63 million of the budget will be spent on a public health campaign to discourage smoking and vaping. 
- Pharmaceutical-like health warnings on vaping product packaging and restricted marketing and advertising to minimise their appeal to young audiences. 
- Support programs and education and training for health professionals and encouraging traditional nicotine replacement cessation methods for vapers and smokers. 
- Border controls: Strengthened border controls with the aim to prevent the illegal importation of vaping products, with severe penalties for unauthorised imports. 
- State-enforced raids
- In Perth, 300,000 vapes were confiscated in Australia’s largest raid, estimated to be worth $10 million 
- In Brisbane, 40,000 vapes were confiscated, valued at $1.2 million in a recent raid 
- In NSW, a series of raids across tobacco stores and convenience stores has removed an estimated $3 million worth of vapes from the streets 
- Similarly in Victoria, raids aim to send a message to stores with the confiscation of up to $800,000 worth of vapes from the streets, and a pledge to continue to discourage the sale of illegal vapes 
- Research and education Initiatives: Australia invests in research to understand the long-term health effects of vaping and educate the public about associated risks
Australia’s vaping crackdown could have a significant positive impact on public health by preventing the emergence of a new generation of nicotine addicts. Australia has paved the way with a determined effort to protect public health and curb the rise of vaping among the younger population. Over the coming months each state and territory will enforce these bans.
Others have criticised the hard stance claiming it will drive the supply of vapes underground, as we have previously seen with other types of illicit drug use through an unregulated black . 
While the effectiveness of these policy measures is yet to be known, it is critical that also we arm young people with the knowledge and skills to make positive decisions for their health and wellbeing by providing evidence-based education.