Australia is continuing to ramp up its war on vapes, with the government set to outlaw the sale of the e-cigarettes.

Health Minister Mark Butler will introduce world-first legislation to Parliament today, making it a crime to manufacture and sell vapes unless it’s at a pharmacy.

It means vaping will soon become illegal without a prescription, effectively shutting down retailers selling the products.

“For people seeking to supply and sell these products in a recreational market, particularly targeted to kids, there will be very very significant offences including imprisonment,” Minister Butler told the ABC.

The opposition is yet to reveal their stance on the move, but Minister Butler said he is hopeful they will support the changes.

“We’re going to return this thing to what was the original purpose, and that is a therapeutic good product,” he said.

“It will be available on prescription by a doctor or a nurse practitioner in a pharmacy to help people with smoking cessation.

“That’s what we were told this product was about… It wasn’t about hooking a new generation of kids to nicotine addiction and being sold as a recreational good.

The Australian Medical Association has welcomed the move, which they say will “tackle the dangerous and growing habit of vaping and protect younger generations”.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson is also urging all MPs to support the legislation, which includes a ban on the domestic manufacture, supply, advertising and commercial possession of non-therapeutic vapes.

“The significant rise of vapes in recent years is a catastrophic health concern, with children becoming addicted to nicotine and many young Australians moving on to cigarettes after vaping,” Professor Robson said.

“This is a national health crisis that must be stopped in its tracks, and the only way to do that is to stop the retail sale of vapes and give people the help they need to kick this dangerous habit by moving to a prescription only model.

“The federal government should make absolutely no apology with their tough but necessary legislation to be introduced today, and we call on federal parliament to support these changes”.