If having a little choof on an apple flavoured USB stick is your happy place, then I regret to inform you it’s about to get a whole lot more difficult to indulge in your favourite pastime.
From the 1st of October 2021, Australians will need a doctor’s prescription to buy vapes, and you’ll have to run down to your local chemist to get them. The legality of buying and selling vapes has, up until now, been a fairly grey area that’s varied from state to state, but workarounds have meant that it’s been easy enough to get your hands on one when the mood (alcohol) strikes. However, that’s set to become near impossible from October, as tobacconists, convenience stores, or wherever else you used to source your mouth fedoras, could be fined up to $11 million if they’re found to be importing products that include the banned favour ingredients outlined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The government has justified the new vaping ban as a way to ‘reduce and prevent the initiation of nicotine addiction among non-smokers, in particular, in adolescents’. According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, around 14% of 12 to 17-year-olds in Australia have tried an e-cigarette, and people who are using vapes are three times more likely to make the transition to analogues, aka, real cigs.
There’s always online ordering from overseas though, right? Well, they’ve thought of that one too. The new laws specify that any vapes being imported can be destroyed by the Border Force if there is no valid prescription include in the package. If you are desperate enough to trot off to the local GP for a script though, they’ll be able to provide you with a three-month prescription that will allow importing vapes for personal use.
So, will it help to curb vaping habits in young Australians, or will it just make those little sticks even more of a hot commodity on a Saturday night?