Australia’s health minister has warned vaping providers to find other ways to make money. Illegal vaping is prevalent, and the Australian government has banned the one-time import of vapes.
According to the Daily Mail, Australian Health Minister MarkButler has warned businesses selling illegal vapes to the market that they must find other ways to make money and denied that they should be regulated similarly to alcohol and tobacco.
Although Butler imposed a ban on single-use e-cigarette imports on January 1 this year, the warning was issued after Daily Mail Australia identified how easy it was to buy the illegal device.
In the busy Golden Street neighborhood of Sydney’s New Town, at least 20 single shops and chains are selling illegal tar e-cigarettes, illicit tobacco, and other equipment. Buying an e-cigarette is as easy as buying a can of drink or a newspaper. In many cases, you don’t even need identification, and the average price of an vape is around $25.
Minister Butler told Daily Mail Australia: “The government will not sit idly by. I have told businesses in this trade sector that they have to find other ways to make money.”
“With vape shops deliberately opening near schools, this is an industry that is targeting its products directly at children.”
In 2021, the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes was deemed illegal under laws and regulations introduced by the former Morrison government. However, many retailers still illegally sell these products, and some even falsely label them as smokeless tar products. Minister Batler imposed a national single-use vape import ban on January 1 to fix a loophole in the previous law and regulations to crack down on the supply of e-cigarettes in convenience stores. As long as it is smokeless tar, retailers can sell imported stocks until Jan. 1.
Changes in the proposed design include new ways to allow doctors and nurses to become ex-smokers or people who need to control their nicotine dependence.
But former federal police officer RohanPike told the Australian Border Force that the implementation of the (ABF) single-use vaping import ban would be difficult and the black market would continue to flourish.
Criminal gangs import e-cigarettes from China and sell them to retailers, which also boosts their profit margins.
More than 90 percent of e-cigarettes sold in Australia are black-market goods.
BrianMarlow, director of the Australian Legal Vapes Lobby, said an import ban would only allow retailers to charge consumers higher prices for the risk of importing and selling these products. He noted that restricting marketing, setting product standards, giving retailers licenses, and imposing harsh penalties for underage sales would also help eliminate the black market.
“Australia should follow the e-cigarette laws and regulations of New Zealand, the UK, and other countries around the world.” “Allow the sale of premium e-cigarettes and control adult-restricted goods like alcohol in the same way,” he noted.
Doing so would expose adults to products that are safer than circulating Chinese disposable goods, and they won’t have sky-high levels of nicotine.
Secretary Butler responded to Marlow’s comments: “The only teams that want to regulate and sell e-cigarettes are the ones that make money once kids get addicted to smoke tar.” – Tobacco companies and tobacco retailers.