‘Repulsive’: New vape ads to be introduced

‘We need to give the retail sector time to make this transition,’ Mr Butler said. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Australia’s tobacco industry will have one year to roll out “repulsive” new health warnings on cigarette and vape packets after the federal government’s historic anti-smoking laws officially passed on Thursday.

Health Minister Mark Butler unveiled a suite of new graphic warning labels, warning that Australians had become desensitised to warning labels and images that have adorned smoking packets since 2011.

“The most concerning thing over the last 10 years is the advice that the government has received is that the smoking rates, which have been declining steadily for 50 years or so, have started to plateau,” Mr Butler.

“We are not currently on track to achieve the targets that are set out in the National Tobacco strategy, and that’s all why I am so delighted the Parliament has passed a new generation of laws to take the fight back up to big tobacco and to save more Australian lives.”

Images designed to ‘shock’ and ‘repel’ will be subject to public consultation . Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Warnings on individual cigarettes are also on the table. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Under the major changes, cigarette and vaping manufacturers a will be given a transition period twelve months starting April 1 2024 to comply with new packaging requirements. Retailers will be given a further three months to update their stock as new warning labels are gradually rolled out.

Laws will also extend current advertising restrictions on cigarettes to vaping products, banning the use of brand names designed to popularize use such as ‘cool crush’ or ‘smooth vapes’.

Thursday’s announcement came after historic anti-smoking and vaping laws flew through the lower house after a vigorous debate in the Senate.

Mark Butler said the government’s fight against smoking was far from over. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Australia will see a total import ban on non-therapeutic and disposable single-use vapes in early 2024, alongside the crackdown on domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and sale.

“Today marks a new era as Australia returns to the forefront of the global fight against smoking,” Mr Butler said

“We cannot stand by and allow another generation of people to be lured into addiction and suffer the enormous health, economic and social consequences.

“The laws that passed today will save lives.”