Australia to ban import of non-prescription vapes

Australia to ban import of non-prescription vapes

The Australian Government has announced it will ban the importation of non-prescription vaping products, including those that do not contain nicotine.

In the most significant smoking reforms in a decade, Australia will ban all single-use, disposable vapes, with prescriptions required for smokers hoping to attain vaping products.

Currently, nicotine vapes are only legally sold in Australia under prescription, however a thriving black market means nicotine vaping products are easily accessible and imported through falsely labelling them as non-nicotine products.

Theo Foukkare, CEO of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), said that the announcement is a “rebadging” of current failed policy.

“Any move to address youth vaping is a positive thing, however our members fear this is simply not going to work because it’s just rebadging current policy framework that even Health Minister Mark Butler has admitted is a failure.”

The new rules will see vapes only sold in pharmacies to those with a prescription, with certain flavours and colours banned, and with a reduced concentration and volume of nicotine.

The upcoming Federal Budget is expected to include $234 million for tobacco and vaping reforms, including $63 million for a public health campaign to discourage vaping, $30 million towards programs to help Australians quit, and $140 million towards extending the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

“From what I can tell, the Government is basically spending $200 million plus dollars of taxpayer money to say to people ‘Just don’t do it’, and that’s it,” said Foukkare.

A recent report released by Llewellyn Consulting and commissioned by British American Tobacco (BAT), suggested that if vaping products were legalised and each of Australia’s 1.1 million vaping adults purchased their products legally, it is possible that over $200 million in GST revenue could be generated each year.

“A fully legal market, as observed in many progressively regulated vaping countries – such as the UK, France and New Zealand ─ provides greater control over product standards and industry compliance,” stated the report.


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