The 60-year-old truck driver told 2GB's Ben Fordham
Sep 01,2023 | VAPES.BAR
"I spend about 20 bucks a week now on vapes and I feel so much better," he told the Nine radio station.
"It was easy, I never wanted a cigarette since."
But Rob fears the $235 million government crackdown on vaping - which promises to end the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, reduce the amount of nicotine and change the packaging - will force him back to smoking cigarettes.
"I can tell you now, if Albanese wants to take these vapes away, I'll end up going back to smoking sitting in the cab all day driving," he said.
"It's just a nightmare and I'm worried."
Under the government crackdown, Rob could still access a vape if he visited a doctor to get a prescription for a pharmaceutical one.
Although it has previously been difficult to access a script for a vape to stop smoking from a doctor with only one in 20 doctors authorised to do it, the government is promising to streamline the process.
"We think this has to change," Health Minister Mark Butler said.
"It will require removing the restrictions on doctors prescribing so that all doctors can write a script for those who really need it."
But the only difference is the vape won't be flavoured like the current disposable e-cigarettes.
The government's main game is to tackle vaping among young people, especially school-aged children.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler during an address to the National Press Club
Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said the crackdown on vaping is to target the habit among young people. (Alex Ellinghausen)
"Vaping has now become the number one behavioural issue in high schools and it is becoming widespread in primary schools as well," he said.
"Over the past 12 months, Victoria's poisons hotline has taken 50 calls about children under the age of four ingesting vapes. Under the age of four."
Vaping is the "biggest loophole in Australian healthcare history" and banning disposable vapes that are easily disguised by school kids is a key part of the crackdown, Butler added.
"These are supposed to be pharmaceutical products so they will have to present that way, no more bubble gum flavours, pink unicorns or vapes disguised as highlighter pens for kids to hide in their pencil cases," Butler said.
The federal government also plans to crack down to increase the tax on tobacco products to minimise smoking in Australia.
The excise on tobacco will increase by 5 per cent over the next three years generating more than $3 billion in tax revenue.
This will increase the price of a packet of cigarettes by about $10 to nearly $50 a pack within four years.