The 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed a 23% increase in vapers.
Last year, Australia’s Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt had announced a new measure banning the importation of vape liquid containing nicotine. A few months later the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced their final decision on the measure, “..the importation of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine for vaping will require a doctor’s prescription.”
To this effect, as of October 2021, vapers in Australia are only able to purchase vaping products from pharmacies via prescription. While retailers in neighbouring New Zealand and most other countries are able to responsibly sell nicotine products over the counter, anyone caught violating Australia’s harsh regulations will face steep fines, and in some cases even imprisonment.
Thousands of products seized by state authorities
Reports of products being seized by state authorities keep emerging, and state health ministers are now urging the local government to crack down on border imports. Following tip-offs from local communities, last October ACT Health in collaboration with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) seized a “large number of vaping products” from three Canberra vape businesses. Upon testing, all products were found to contain nicotine, which has been banned across the country, while two thirds of the products were also found to contain prohibited substances including diacetyl, a flavouring agent believed to cause irreversible lung damage.
WA Health spokesman Dr. Michael Lindsay said that the department has seized over 16,000 illegal nicotine vapes in over three years, and the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed a 23% increase in vapers.
Similarly, Vicky Sheppeard, from New South Wales’ public health unit at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, said that spot checks are being conducted, prompted by a rise in vaping among high school students. “We are speaking with principals who are very aware and concerned that there are growing numbers of young people vaping.”
Read Further: The Sydney Morning Herald
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