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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2218 ..

It is imperative that we act now. Kids will always be kids and want to push boundaries and try new things. We cannot let another generation be sucked down the path of previous generations. Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable death around the world. It is important to acknowledge the commonwealth moves to further regulate e-cigarettes. From 1 October, you will no longer be able to legally buy these products from overseas websites without talking with a GP and getting a prescription.

I commend everyone who has worked on this issue over the last few years, including my colleagues Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith, as Minister for Health, and Ms Yvette Berry, as minister for education, as well as the staff of the relevant directorates.

I have moved this motion today on behalf of my constituents and the ACT community to protect our children from this potentially harmful product that threatens to normalise smoking behaviour in another generation, undoing all the progress we have achieved. We must support those in our community with nicotine addiction to quit smoking. We already have many effective programs in place, such as the great work undertaken by organisations such as Quitline and the Cancer Council.

While we await the outcomes of NHMRC studies and others, there is more we can do right now, based on what we know about vaping and e-cigarettes. My motion calls on the ACT government to continue to develop programs that educate and inform Canberrans, particularly young Canberrans, about the risks of e-cigarettes to prevent their uptake and use. My motion asks the Assembly to call on the ACT government to review relevant ACT legislation to ensure that current arrangements are contributing to minimise the harm being caused by e-cigarettes and vaping across our community, particularly for young people.

My motion further asks the Assembly to call on the ACT government to advocate again to federal ministers for amendments to commonwealth legislation to regulate e-cigarettes by amending the national tobacco control legislation to expand the scope of plain packaging and advertising legislation to include non-tobacco smoking products; to restrict the type of e-liquid flavours and vaping devices permitted to be sold in Australia to those that are less likely to appeal to children and young people; and to require child-safe packaging.

I also call on the ACT government to seek consideration by the health ministers’ meeting on stronger national measures for vaping products. Lastly, I ask that the Assembly call on the ACT government to report back on these issues to the Assembly no later than the first sitting week in December 2022.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (3.20): I rise to speak to Dr Paterson’s very important motion and thank her for bringing this matter to the Assembly for debate.

Australia has led the world when it comes to tackling tobacco smoking and the harms it causes. We have taken on big tobacco before, and we have won. Plain packaging for cigarettes, for example, was extremely controversial. I acknowledge the commitment

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