The Heart Foundation NSW has welcomed the new ban on the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas across NSW.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid to produce a vapour that users inhale.
Yesterday, the NSW Parliament amended the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017 to include e-cigarettes within the definitions of smoking so that e-cigarettes cannot be used in areas which are currently smoke-free.
“Before this amendment, people were able to use an e-cigarette on a bus, in a shopping centre, school or at a playground,” the Heart Foundation NSW’s chief executive, Kerry Doyle, said.
“Amending this legislation ensures e-cigarettes are treated the same way as cigarettes in smoke-free areas in NSW which will protect children and the most vulnerable in our community.”
She congratulated Health Minister Brad Hazzard for the decision.
Prior to this amendment NSW was one of the last states in Australia to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free public spaces.
“This amendment comes at a critical time as young people in NSW are taking up e-cigarettes more than any other age group,” Ms Doyle said.
“We know that e-cigarettes have been proven to be a potential gateway for young people to start smoking so banning the use in smoke-free areas will reduce the opportunity to normalise their use for many young people.”
The Smoke-free Environment Amendment Act 2018 will now pass to the Governor of NSW for assent and will take effect on a date yet to be announced by Mr Hazzard.