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Is Australia seriously banning disposable vapes?

Discussion in 'Vape Politics and Media' started by Salt Man, Nov 16, 2023.

  1. Salt Man

    Salt Man New Member

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    United States
    Bad Apple
    Disposable vapes are in hot water right now with governments all over the world. There's a lot of pressure to do something about their popularity with young people and the waste that they create. Australia wants to ban them outright and make it so that the only legal place to buy vapes in the country is at a pharmacy with a prescription from an AU doctor. That sounds like madness.

    The health minister said earlier this week in an interview that disposable vapes would be banned by the end of the year. Worse yet, not just disposables but any vapes that don't meet the "standards" that the government has in mind for vapes. With disposables made illegal, what vapes will vapers who have been prescribed e-cigs to quit smoking be able to buy? What brands? What models? What types? So many questions and so few answers. Does the government even know which vaping products will be sold through pharmacies to patients?

    There are a lot of questions unanswered right now about what the new laws in Australia for vapes will look like when the government starts implementing them. With so many questions unanswered, it feels like the government's plan might not be all that well conceived. When the government last moved to regulate vapes, it added fuel to the black market and now experts are warning the same could happen again. The fact of the matter is that underground sales of nicotine vaping products in Australia are already well documented and the consensus on the underground vape economy is that business is booming.

    Will an outright ban on disposable vapes solve the problem? What tools will law enforcement agencies like the police and the ABF have at their disposal to enforce the new laws? There seem to be a lot more questions than there are answers for the public right now.

    Being an American, I can't help but wonder if Australia's enforcement will look like it does in the United States where vape shops continue to sell vapes that are not FDA-approved all day long. I remember when news broke in the US that flavored vapes were going to be banned and then when it happened virtually nothing changed because the authorities didn't do enough to enforce the ban. You can still walk into a vape shop and buy a fruity flavored disposable vape without any issues. That's not to say that the government is doing nothing but is the FDA sending warning letters to vape retailers really enough to enforce the ban? Is the ban working? It does not seem to be when vape stores around the US continue to stock and sell disposable vapes in a variety of flavors, none of which has received approval from the FDA.

    What about the favorite "boogeyman" of the day? First, it was an outbreak of lung injuries caused by vaping (or at least that's what news media reported at the time), which was then linked to vitamin e acetate (something that never should have been in any vapes). More recently it's the waste created by disposable vapes and other vaping products that are improperly discarded as trash instead of recycled. Then there are all of the claims that vapes can't be recycled, which is nonsense because even disposables can be recycled if they're properly disassembled. However, disposables aren't necessarily easy to recycle and may require manual disassembly if the battery inside is soldered in place. The real problem there might have more to do with a lack of effort to educate vapers on how to recycle their vape batteries, devices, leftover e-juice, pods and the rest of their used vaping products.

    One of the issues with recycling disposables is how much effort it can take even if you know approximately how to do it. Not every country is the same. Not every city is the same. There are different ways to recycle vaping products and there might be some or even none available to a vaper depending on where they are in the world when it comes time to rid themselves of their old vaping supplies.

    One argument for banning single-use vapes that has been elevated is that they damage the environment and they're sending valuable lithium into landfills. Why does this happen? Can't they be recycled? They can be recycled but some have deemed it "impractical" to disassemble them when their batteries are soldered in. The reason is that there's just not enough lithium to justify the work it takes to remove the batteries and sort them for recycling. Is this enough of a reason to send them to landfills instead of recycling them?

    As someone who, for better or more likely worse, uses single-use vapes sometimes, banning them seems ludicrous. Absolute crazy talk. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense just to require disposable vape manufacturers to design their single-use vaping devices to have removable batteries to make them easy to recycle?

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