Testing of seized vaping products from Canberra businesses has revealed dangerous and banned ingredients in two-thirds of the products, with all the products found to contain nicotine.
A joint operation conducted by ACT Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration seized a "large number of vaping products" from three Canberra businesses in October and investigations were continuing, the bodies said in a joint statement.
The seizures were made following tip-offs from the community, with subsequent testing revealing two in three of the products contained ingredients that have been banned in nicotine vaping products.
"It is especially concerning that two thirds of the products were not labelled as containing nicotine," the statement said.
Testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration found six prohibited ingredients, including diacetyl, a flavouring agent that can cause irreversible lung damage.
Nicotine vaping products became prescription-only on October 1 and need to meet stringent labelling and ingredient requirements. Only pharmacies are permitted to sell nicotine vaping products.
None of the products seized in the ACT met the labelling and ingredient requirements.
"As enforcement options are under consideration, further information on the businesses involved cannot be provided publicly at this stage," the TGA and ACT Health said.
The Canberra Times has asked the Therapeutic Goods Administration to clarify what quantity of products were seized as part of the operation.
The ACT Legislative Assembly in August passed a motion calling on the territory government to review e-cigarette laws and continue advocating for tighter Commonwealth regulation of vaping products.
It came after reporting in the Sunday Canberra Times that showed local schools had seen an increased number of students vaping.
One 18-year-old said for adolescents it was "easier to get a vape than to get a pack of smokes".
"There are a lot of people who resell them to young people on social media. They probably source it from cheap overseas suppliers," the apprentice said.
Vaping and e-cigarette products have frequently been promoted by advocates as a means to cut back from tobacco smoking.
The federal Health Department has said that even though scientists are still learning about e-cigarettes' effects, they cannot be considered safe.
"Hazardous substances have been found in e-cigarette liquids ... including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, which are known to cause cancer," the department states.
"Some chemicals can also cause DNA damage."
The department also states that research shows a strong link between the use of e-cigarettes by non-smoking youth and future smoking.
In the first half of 2021, the CSIRO completed a review into the use and health impacts of e-cigarettes and found that "the evidence available suggests that regular use of e-cigarettes is likely to have adverse health consequences".
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