Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 November 2022) . . Page.. 3783 ..
ultimate step is harmonisation of jurisdictional human tissue laws to allow for consistency in practices throughout Australia.
Finally, I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for their comments on the Health Legislation Amendment Bill as part of their Scrutiny Report 16 of 19 May. The committee sought further information on a number of matters relating to the bill. These matters have been addressed through a revised explanatory statement and I table that revised statement. I also want to thank the scrutiny committee for their consideration of the amendment which I will move in the detail stage. I apologise to other Assembly members; I understand the amendment was sent to the scrutiny committee but was not circulated to all members until this week. I apologise for that, but employees of the scrutiny committee did not identify any issues with it.
Subject to the passage of the bill, the ACT Health Directorate will work with stakeholders to ensure that they are aware of their obligations in each area and to outline the key changes that have been made. The ACT Health Directorate will also update any guidance material on their website to ensure that stakeholders have access to timely and accurate advice. I therefore welcome and encourage the support of the Assembly in passing this bill. I commend it to the Assembly and thank everyone who has spoken today, for their support.
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (11.40), by leave: I would like to thank the minister and the Health Directorate for these proposed amendments, which increase the capacity for the government to enforce existing restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products, particularly to young people. While vapes were initially advertised as a healthier alternative to smoking, the reality is that e-cigarettes pose far more issues to public health than the issues that they allegedly seek to solve.
In August last year, the Assembly called on the government to review legislation that governs the purchase and possession of liquid nicotine and to increase education campaigns targeting young people, with a view to decreasing the uptake of liquid nicotine. While nicotine vapes are now unable to be legally purchased without a prescription from a medical practitioner, vapes continue to be sold on the black market and circulate prolifically among vulnerable young people in the ACT.
While smoking rates amongst young people have been falling consistently for decades now, vaping has been a method for tobacco companies to continue to sell nicotine and market themselves to new demographics. Nationally, vaping rates have increased among young people in recent years. According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Australia, around 14 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds have tried vaping. Almost half—48 per cent—of students who vaped had never smoked tobacco before trying an e-cigarette. Around a quarter of those students who had used e-cigarettes before ever smoking reported later trying tobacco cigarettes.
In recent years legislation and regulation such as that that we are debating today has attempted to curtail the intake of vaping by eliminating the supply of vapes. The commonwealth government has rescheduled nicotine liquid and banned its import for personal use. It would be remiss of me not to note that we in this Assembly know quite well now that with the criminalisation of substance use black markets proliferate