Australia doubles down on its e-cigarette sales ban
Time: 13:40 - 13:55
Date: Tuesday 7th December 2021
Australia is one of the only English-speaking, high-income countries that has banned the sale of e-cigarettes as consumer products. Until 1 October 2021, smokers could legally import nicotine for personal use with prescription. Most smokers imported nicotine illegally because very few doctors were prepared to prescribe nicotine. The use of e-cigarettes increased among Australian smokers and adolescents despite the sales ban prompting a tougher enforcement of the sales ban. Since 1 October 2021 smokers who import nicotine without a script may face up to a $200,000 fine and imprisonment. This policy has been justified by giving an absolute priority to protecting youth from a ‘vaping epidemic’ that has supposedly occurred. I make some predictions about how the policy may work and what its likely effects will be on Australian vapers and smokers who want to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
- Prof Wayne Hall Professor Emeritus, National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research - The University of Queensland