Lots has changed in Australia over the past couple years, all the way from new kinds of technology to new kinds of trends, with one major trend seen having an immense growth particularly among youth groups, is the boom in the usage of vapes. This is particularly so as more and more individuals turn to vapes for relaxation, their many different flavours or simply as an alternative to cigarettes.

The old laws about the access of vapes can be found here.

How Do These Changes Impact Vapers?

There is no need to worry, despite what it seems, through these law changes, individual users and owners of vapes will not be punished by such changes, rather these changes aim at targeting suppliers. So while it may become increasingly difficult to access and buy vapes for your own personal consumption, there is no need to worry about legal ramifications as an individual user.

When in doubt it is important to seek expert legal advice. Contact Us at National Criminal Lawyers®  to access trusted information and advice regarding your situation.

What Is Actually Changing?

Well as per the 1st of January 2024, a major step was taken to shake up and slow down the vape industry with the importation of “disposable vapes” becoming prohibited subject to very slim exceptions.

According to the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA),:

“The ban will apply to disposable vapes irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims. It means that it will be unlawful to import disposable vapes on or after 1 January 2024, even if those vapes were ordered before 1 January 2024 and have not yet arrived in Australia.”

Further, this limitation also applies to any person who had ordered a disposable vape from overseas for “therapeutic use under the personal importation scheme”.

So what happens to businesses who had ordered and received their disposable vapes prior to the 1st of January 2024? Well they may still be lawfully sold however under certain conditions as stated by the TGA to be the following:

“disposable vapes containing nicotine that meet TGA requirements may continue to be lawfully supplied in Australia in pharmacy settings to a patient with a prescription in accordance with state and territory laws for prescription medicines,

disposable vapes that do not contain nicotine, or any other medicine, and do not make therapeutic claims, may be supplied by retailers generally, including vape stores, subject to state or territory law”.

Further efforts have also been made to remove pressure from the TGA, as doctors and nurses will be able to prescribe vapes without needing to go through the Administration.

Changes have also been announced to come into effect on the 1st of March 2024 with the following prohibitions: “

“From 1 March 2024, the importation of all non-therapeutic vapes will be prohibited. This means that it will be unlawful to import non-therapeutic vapes on or after 1 March 2024 even if those vapes were ordered before 1 March 2024 and have not yet arrived in Australia.

In addition, the importation of all vapes under the personal importation scheme will end on 1 March 2024. From this date, patients will no longer be able to order vapes directly from overseas, even if they have a prescription.

Subject to state or territory law, non-therapeutic vapes imported before 1 March 2024 may still be lawfully sold by retailers generally, including vape stores, provided the vape does not contain nicotine or any other medicine, and does not make therapeutic claims.”

It is clear that efforts are being made to slowly remove the effect, prevalence and presence of vapes within Australian Society.

If you are being prosecuted as a result of such changes, our lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers® practice exclusively in criminal law related matters. It is imperative that you seek legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Why Not Tackle Cigarettes First?

While it is true that cigarettes are a major issue, and that the negative long term effects of cigarettes is often common knowledge, the truth of the matter is that it can be argued that until the long term effects of vapes are also not know they should be kept under tighter control due to higher risks.

Many would also argue that there is a lot stricter conditions on the sale of cigarettes from the unappealing packaging to stricter controls on their importation, and sale. This is compared to a new trendy device with lack of long term research, packaging made to appeal to younger generation and the appeal of the various different flavours available. Further, there has been a great lack of control on where and when such devices were sold and supplied within Australia.

Why Has This Change Been Bought About?

Despite the popular opinion that vaping is considerably healthier because individuals believe it is just water vapour, this is simply false, rather the Lung Foundation Australia has found that such vapes are filled merely with “toxic particles”, going on to list many of the chemicals commonly found in these small devices.

Such myths that vaping is a healthy alternative is harming more and more young impressionable minds everyday. The 2022 Australia National University report titled “Electronic  cigarettes and  health outcomes: systematic review of global evidence” found that despite the long term health risks being unclear,

“Based on the current worldwide evidence, use of nicotine e-cigarettes increases the risk of a range of adverse health outcomes, including poisoning, toxicity from inhalation (such as seizures), addiction, trauma and burns, lung injury and smoking uptake, particularly in youth”

Another reason why such technology is being banned is the extreme prevalence of vapes within youths, on a mass scale such that even cigarettes has not seen within the current youth.

Do you agree with these changes? Let us know.

The team at National Criminal Lawyers® love providing educational information to our readers. We hope you have found this blog informative. We always encourage feedback and suggestions on topics you would like our Criminal Defence Lawyers to discuss.

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