Australian nicotine vape laws: Officials collect fines amid calls to ban e-cigarettes

Vaping crackdown looms as calls grow to ban ALL e-cigarettes after a surge in Aussies busted for selling illegal vapes

  • Health officials are considering new anti-vape laws
  • More than $738,000 of fines were collected last year
  • Prosecuting nicotine vape suppliers is very expensive
  • However, new plans hope to stop teenage smoking 

Health officials are demanding a crackdown on vaping with stricter laws and stiffer penalties after a surge in illegal vape importers, vendors and advertisers

Australians busted for flogging the outlawed nicotine vapes have been fined more than $730,000 in the last 13 months, up $110,000 from the previous year.

New data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration shows the continuous sale of illegal e-cigarettes is taking a massive toll on health budgets.

But hunting down the black market trade is cripplingly expensive as the suspected illegal e-cigarettes have to undergo laboratory testing to find traces of nicotine

Health officials are looking to tighten regulations around nicotine e-cigarettes to stop teen smoking (stock image)

Health officials are looking to tighten regulations around nicotine e-cigarettes to stop teen smoking (stock image)

Vapes (example above) have long been criticised for using bright colours and fun flavours to attract underage children 

Cancer Council Australia CEO Tanya Buchanan believes stricter regulations are worth the cost compared to the damage of hooking a new generation on nicotine, Herald Sun reports.

Vapes have long been criticised for using bright colours and fun flavours to attract underage children who subsequently become trapped in a nicotine addiction.

Now VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio says e-cigarettes need to be stripped from stores as soon as possible.

‘It’s time for governments to act, before an entirely new generation becomes addicted to nicotine,’ he said.

Australian Medical Association national president Prof Steve Robson added: ‘Everything we have got should be thrown at trying to stop vulnerable kids in our communities being hooked on vapes.’

Australia took action against the growing epidemic by outlawing nicotine vapes in October, 2021, but the products have remained readily available on the black market.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler (above) said he and state health leaders will meet this month to discuss new nicotine vape regulations

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler (above) said he and state health leaders will meet this month to discuss new nicotine vape regulations

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said he and state health leaders will meet this month to discuss how to eradicate the devices.

‘We need to understand where the current regulatory framework falls short, and what action governments can take to move the dial,’ he said.

The group is expected to discuss new rules around product imports, labelling and flavour selection. 

The new plan is set to again push designated budgets over the brink by at least $335,000 but hopes to ensure nicotine vapes truly become prescription-only. 

A TGA spokesperson said ‘widespread non-compliance’ of illegal vapes means the costs related to litigation, policy making and administration have all significantly increased.   

Almost 100 Aussies were fined a total of $730,000 in the last 13 months for illegal nicotine vape practice

Almost 100 Aussies were fined a total of $730,000 in the last 13 months for illegal nicotine vape practice

However, the business of nicotine vapes is just as expensive for those busted for illegal practice.

The TGA handed down almost 100 vape-related fines in the last year with the total revenue collected almost reaching $738,000. 

Most of the fines were given for alleged illegal advertising after stricter regulations were introduced in November. 

Just 10 of the fines were for allegedly importing and supplying nicotine vapes.

More than half of the parties fined were from New South Wales with $426,000 collected from the state.

Six people and four businesses in Victoria lost $277,000 in fines for alleged vape offences.

Source

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