Today the national Health Minister Mark Butler has introduced legislation to ban the import, manufacture and retail sale of e-cigarettes or vapes.  This legislation will make it illegal for retailers to sell any form of disposable vape, including those labelled as 0% nicotine, resulting in the only legal pathway for accessing e-cigarettes being therapeutic, where a script from a doctor is filled at a pharmacy.  The ban is in addition to further restrictions and changes to the retail of tobacco.

“The legislation will also make commercial possession illegal.  So even if a business is not ‘caught’ selling vapes, they will face penalties for having them on a commercial premises”, explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

Mr Butler said the ban was not “prohibition”.

“This is not a bill to prohibit the use of vapes,” he said.

“This was presented as a therapeutic good… these laws return it to that.”

“We fought for decades and decades to understand clearly the health impacts, then fought for more decades to get tobacco  legislation through our parliament,” he said.

He ruled out a “tax and regulate” system for vapes.

“That would simply raise the white flag on something that poses a very serious public health risk to the youngest members of our community, with one objective in mind from Big Tobacco and that is to recruit them to nicotine addiction and smoking.”

When questioned on the impact of the new legislation on smoking rates the Minister noted, “Obviously we’re very concerned about that risk. And late last year we passed new landmark legislation to introduce new controls on traditional tobacco products, particularly cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco, as well as starting to lift the price again.”

The tobacco changes will result in increased and changed health warnings and a ban on all flavours including menthol.  These tobacco changes are set to take effect from 1 April 2024.

“Tobacco retailers are able to continue to sell out their current stock, but will not be able to order additional suppliers.  We encourage retailers to work with their suppliers on stock run-down and return”, added Elisha.

The vape ban was introduced to the Australian Parliament today.  Yesterday the New Zealand government confirmed a ban on the retail of disposable vapes as well as increased penalties for sale of vapes to those under the age of 18.

The Bill will now move through the parliamentary process.  ACAPMA will update members once the legislation is Gazetted and the commencement and enforcement dates are confirmed.

For more information on the legislation introduced today see; https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;page=0;query=BillId%3Ar7169%20Recstruct%3Abillhome

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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