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Australia Vape Ban Dates Released

Australia Vape Ban Dates Released

Australian Federal Government has passed regulations banning the importation of vaping products.  

On December 13th 2023 the Governor-General made regulations amending Customs Legislation and Therapeutic Goods Legislation in Federal Executive Council; marking the first phase of Minister for Health Mark Butlers' ban on vaping in Australia.

Based on these regulations, beginning Jan 1st 2024, the importation of disposable vape products will be prohibited, followed by a complete import ban on all vaping products by March 1st 2024.

These milestones mark a brutal development in Australia's approach to tobacco harm reduction and personal freedoms.    

In a press release from the TGA they claim the intent is to not criminalise vapers.

"The proposed reforms will not criminalise vapers in any way. Personal possession and use of vapes is not, and will not be, criminalised by the Australian Government."

Key Dates of Australia's Vape Ban (Based on Current Regulations)

Disposable Vapes: January 1st, 2024

From January 1st 2024 the importation of disposable vape products into Australia will be prohibited.

The ban covers the importation of all disposable vaping products including:

  • Imports of nicotine disposable vapes by people with and without a doctors prescription under the personal importation scheme
  • Imports of zero nicotine disposable vapes

Definition of a disposable vape: 

S19 of the customs amendment regulations define a disposable vape as a vaping product that is:

a) fully assembled with all the constituent components fixed permanently in place and that is not designed or intended to be disassembled; and
b) that:
i)  is pre‑filled with a vape substance; or
(ii)  is designed or intended to be supplied pre‑filled with a vape substance; and
c)  that is not designed or intended to be refilled.

Order Cutoffs for Disposable Vapes:

Australian orders containing disposable vape products placed up until 12pm, Friday December 29th will come with a delivery guarantee.

For orders placed after December 29th we recommend ordering hybrid disposable vape. These products do not meet the definition of a disposable vape specified in the regulations and will be permitted to import on and after the January 1st ban.

All Other Vapes: March 1st, 2024

 From March 1st 2024 the importation of all vaping goods will be prohibited. 

The customs amendment regulations define a vaping good as "a vape" or "a vape accessory" or "a vape substance": 

Definition of "a vape" 

(a)  a device (whether or not filled with a vape substance) that generates or releases, or is designed or intended to generate or release, using a heating element and by electronic means, an aerosol, vapour or mist for direct inhalation by its user; or
                     (b)  a device to which paragraph (a) would apply were the device not incomplete, damaged, temporarily or permanently inoperable, or unfinished; or
                     (c)  a device the presentation of which includes an express or implied representation that the device is a device of the kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

Definition of "a vape accessory" 

(a)  a cartridge, capsule, pod, vial, dropper bottle, drip bottle or other vessel:

                              (i)  that contains, or that is designed or intended to contain, a vape substance; and

                             (ii)  whether or not integrated with other components of a vape; or

                     (b)  a vessel the presentation of which includes an express or implied representation that the vessel is a vessel of the kind referred to in paragraph (a).

Definition of "a vape substance" 

                     (a)  a liquid or other substance designed or intended for use in a vape; or

                     (b)  nicotine in solution in any concentration, including in salt or base form; or

                     (c)  a substance the presentation of which includes an express or implied representation that the substance is a substance of the kind referred to in paragraph (a).

Exemption for Travelers:

In recognition that in nearly every other developed country in the world regulates vaping products as consumer goods, travelers entering Australia will be permitted to bring a maximum per person of: 

  • 2 devices
  • 20 replacement pods 
  • 200mL of eLiquid    

Australias vape ban is a flawed policy which will cause preventable harm to public health.  

Leading harm reduction advocate, Dr. Colin Mendelsohn (now retired) recently called for a royal commission into corrupt vaping policy. 

While its clear from these regulations Mark Butler is a talented lawyer, his lack of experience in public health highlights his incompetence in making evidence based public health policy decisions.

Globally, Australia's stance is an anomaly. Countries like the UK and New Zealand have embraced vaping as a harm reduction tool, backed by research and public health campaigns. Australia's prohibitionist approach is out of step with international trends and scientific evidence, isolating it on the global stage of tobacco harm reduction policy and will fuel an already out of control black market. 

Resources for Australia Vape Ban

Although the short term future of vaping in Australia is grim there is always hope (like last time Australia banned vaping) and in most instances common sense and evidence based policy eventually prevails. 

The domestic sale of vaping products has not (yet) been banned:

Phase 2 of Mark Butlers plan to ban vaping in Australia involves passing legislation to prohibit the sale, manufacture and supply of all non pharmaceutical vapes in Australia. Passing legislation will need to go through parliament with cross party support and is expected to take place by the end of February 2024.

In the leadup to these proceedings it will be critical to have vapers voices heard by MPs who can fight for your right to have access to vaping products the same way you can access combustible tobacco and liquor. 

Vape Advocacy

 

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