Australia bans import of nicotine e-liquid
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt is pushing the Department of Health to work with Australian border forces on a new approach to electronic cigarettes. The importation of vaping liquids containing nicotine will be banned as of July 1, and anyone caught in the act of violating this regulation will be fined $ 220,000.
Although all kinds of restrictions are in place for e-cigarettes, there are still no restrictions on the purchase of regular cigarettes that kill 21,000 Australians each year.
The situation may not seem so gloomy, as vapers will still be able to get nicotine e-liquids on prescription from a doctor. However, only a handful of Australian doctors are prepared to write nicotine prescriptions under current laws, and given the complex and time-consuming requirements resulting from the new plan, even fewer doctors will now be ready to do so.
To add insult to injury, pharmacists need a special permit from the state health services to possess and import nicotine, all of which have so far refused to give that permit. However, there are still no restrictions on the purchase of regular cigarettes which kill 21,000 Australians each year.
Unfortunately, all of this means that many of Australia’s 300,000 vapers will not have access to smoking cessation aids and could either resume smoking or attempt to purchase the products on the black market where they are unregulated and possibly dangerous. .
Sadly, those who are expected to suffer the most from this measure are the marginalized and disadvantaged communities of Australia, who have much higher smoking rates and lower quit rates than the rest of the community. In addition, the high prices of cigarettes in Australia cause severe financial stress among the population and even more so among these groups, so being cheaper, vaping also helps to reduce financial inequalities.
Kiwi entities support Australian vapers
New Zealand’s Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) has spoken out strongly in favor of Australian vapers against this ban. “AVCA stands alongside our fellow vapers in Tasmania, as well as organizations such as ATHRA, PPHA, AVA and LVA to speak out against the senseless crackdown by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA),” said the co-director of the organization, Nancy Loucas.
“Smokers in Australia have been denied access to a proven harm reduction tool. At the same time, vapers in Australia have once again suffered a potentially fatal blow that will see many of the community’s 300,000 vapers return to smoking cigarettes. Alarmingly, the human right to choose health is being sold by those who see only the need to continue collecting tobacco excise duty to bolster their coffers. This is appalling public policy, especially when we all know that cigarettes kill 21,000 Australians a year and are available free in all corners of Australia without a prescription, ”she added.
Another Kiwi, Vapo Australia co-owner Ben Pryor, agrees, and while expressing the same concerns as Loucas, he is also urging the New Zealand authorities to intervene. “We understand the rationale for restricting low-quality products, but this blanket ban also hits world-famous products. Our equipment meets GMP medical device standards and our e-liquids are emission tested in the UK.
“We are now calling on our Trade Minister, David Parker, to officially raise this issue with his Australian counterpart. After all, our government is on the verge of legalizing and legitimizing vaping in New Zealand with a bill currently before Parliament. Maybe our government can enlighten the Australian government on this incredibly effective smoking cessation tool and how to bring down national smoking rates, “added Pryor,” Unfortunately Australians are gravely disappointed with this policy shock. public that will only help Big Tobacco.
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