It is an odd thing to find yourself suddenly accosted by aromas of cotton candy or creme brulee while walking down the street.
The mind is tricked into thinking there must be a sweet store or restaurant serving desserts nearby to warrant such delicious smells but no. In reality, those sudden bursts of sweet aromas are more often than not vape clouds.
Such sweet aromas can be quite enjoyable but I didn't sign up to passively vape someone else's fix.
I'm wary of vaping – there are too many unknowns about its effects on the body. The six deaths and 450 reported cases of lung illness linked to vaping through the United States should also be cause for concern. Last year, the White House announced measures to stop the sale of all non-tobacco flavours. Now, our Government is doing likewise.
New legislation introduced to Parliament yesterday could spell bad news for vaping manufacturers making big business from selling sweet, candy-like e-liquid flavours.
Rules would include a ban on selling to under 18-year-olds and on advertising. Interestingly, the legislation also restricts most flavours to speciality stores to limit the potential appeal to children.
General retailers like dairies and petrol stations will only be allowed to sell three flavours - tobacco, mint and menthol.
One must ask; why would anyone create a nicotine-based product that tastes like bubblegum? Who is the target market here? I doubt it's a 65-year-old tradie who's smoked all his life but is desperate to quit.
It reminds me of the days of raspberry vodka mixers, which were one of the biggest sellers of the bar I worked at. They were sickly-sweet fizz with an alcoholic kick. Perfect for new drinkers finding themselves suddenly old enough to buy drinks. I doubt I sold even one of those drinks to anyone aged over 25.
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And you only need to see the clusters of students and various vape clouds floating above them when school's out to know how popular vaping is among young people.
Bravo to the Government for bringing in such measures.
Yet, vaping can make a real difference to smokers trying to give up. I quit smoking years ago by going cold turkey in a bet. For me, it worked but for many others, giving up isn't so simple.
I feel The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Vaping Amendment Bill balances the need to help protect our young people while meeting the demand of genuine vapers. It will receive its first reading in March when it will then be referred to the Health Select Committee
Despite my misgivings on vaping, I believe it has its place in society - just not with our young people keen for something sweet.