Australia in uproar over new vaping ban on imported e-cig and refills

The Australian government is facing an open revolt from vapers across the county angered by the new decision banning the import and sales of electronic cigarettes and their refillable e-liquids.  The ban is slated to begin on July 1.  With Australia being completely cut off from the rest of the world by the Pacific, Antarctic, and Indian Oceans, vaping supplies will soon become non-existent.

Several members of the Australian Parliament from both the National and Liberal parties are even joining in the backlash. Liberal MP Tim Wilson, Queensland Senator Matt Canavan, and former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce are now openly urging Health Minister Greg Hunt to rescind his decision.  In a letter to the Sidney Morning Herald, an astonishing 28 MPs warned of the "onerous” and “completely impractical” regulatory requirements being placed on the entire vaping community with almost no notice.    

"With that in mind we respectfully ask that the government rescind the regulation establishing the new regulatory framework and allow the existing scheme to continue at least until the end of this year, while further consultation can occur on the proposed changes...
"Regardless of our differences of opinion on that issue, we feel that this proposed regulatory change has been too rushed and risks a widespread community backlash and perverse health outcomes."

Unfortunately, Mr. Hunt is standing by his prior decision with little apparent possibility of changing his mind.  "The Morrison Government, together with the state and territory governments, is committed to shutting down the importation of vaping products due to its associated health risks such as nicotine poisoning," said a Hunter spokesperson. 

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The press statement did not address a petition making the rounds within the Australian vape community which demands an immediate reversal of the vaping ban.  The public petition has already received over 52,0000 signatures within its first 24 hours.  The vape petition claims that prohibiting access to vaping products will likely create more severe public health problems.

“By denying people access to a product that is commonly used, Australians will be forced to use more dangerous legal alternatives, such as cigarettes. Others may resort to black market options with the potential for even more harmful outcomes.”

Unless something happens within the next few days to change the Health Minister’s mind, any importer of vapor products may be charged criminally and remanded to pay a financial penalty of up to $220,000.  The import ban includes e-cigarettes, e-liquids, liquid nicotine solutions, nicotine salts, and pre-packaged refills.  The prohibition is designed to last for 12 months which allows the Australian government enough time to consult yet again with the Therapeutic Goods Administration on the possibilities of regulatory alternatives for nicotine products. 

Related Article:   BREAKING: Australia vaping ban continues, says Therapeutic Drugs Administration

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