In the nick o’ time

Vaping crackdown welcomed

THE federal government’s crackdown on vaping has been welcomed by a Bayswater councillor pushing to get vape shops away from schools.

Vapes containing nicotine currently require a prescription, but the law is poorly enforced.

Federal health minister Mark Butler announced a crackdown on the vape black market by stopping import of non-prescription vapes, restricting flavours, colours and other ingredients, further reducing the nicotine level, requiring pharmaceutical-like packaging, and banning disposable vapes.

Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt is also concerned about young people vaping, and lodged a notice of motion at the October 2022 meeting to investigate how they could prevent new vape, smoking, and shisha-focussed venues from opening up near schools, playgrounds, parks, or other places mainly used 

by young people (“Bayswater vape shop crackdown,” Voice, November 5, 2022).

Staff proposed defining any place selling “smoking-related implements” as a restricted premises requiring council approval, and the idea’s out for public comment.

Cr Ehrhardt said of the federal announcement: “I definitely welcome it,” noting a growing trend of youth vaping.

“My children’s high school sent out an information pack last year with an anti-vaping toolkit. They had to fit all of the toilets with a detector that detects if kids are vaping, because it is a serious problem in high schools.”

She said the plan to ban single-use vapes was an environmental win. Recently the local environmental group Transition Town Bayswater headed to The Rise in Maylands for Clean Up Australia Day and found empty single-use plastic vapes scattered everywhere.

Cr Ehrhardt says the council will still pursue its policy as it covers other smoke-products too. 

“Vape stores and shisha bars currently fall under the definitions of ‘shop’ and 

‘restaurant or cafe’, meaning they don’t require planning approval and are able to set up almost anywhere.

“We’ve got [a vape shop] within eyesight of a school. We’ve got a shisha lounge in Morley that’s literally metres from a playground.

“The amendment would see these premises restricted from operating next to areas our children and young adults frequent, such as schools, bus stops and playgrounds.”

Comments are open at engage. until June 12.


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