Business & Politics

Australia’s E-Cigarette Regulations: Has It Gone Too Far?

Australia’s ridiculously complicated regulations have made it harder than ever for Aussies to access nicotine vaping products…while deadly cigarettes remain freely available.

Australian policymakers are increasingly coming under fire after their ‘absurd’ clampdown on nicotine vaping products put millions of lives at risk.

Harm reduction advocates from across the globe were outraged when officials all but banned the importation of lifesaving quitting tools, all while smoking continued to ravage the nation’s health.

New regulations mean more than 500,000 vapers – and 2.3 million smokers – need a doctor’s prescription before they can access reduced risk nicotine vaping products.

But with a lack of willing medical professionals – and a complex importation system – many returned to smoking or were forced into the waiting hands of the black market instead. 

Critics said the measures make it easier to access deadly cigarettes, which kill more than 20,000 Australians every year, than their less harmful counterparts.

Adam Metelmann, a vocal advocate and ex-smoker, highlighted that, while the process to purchase nicotine vaping products is ‘ridiculous’, cigarettes still remain widely accessible.

“There are PLENTY of shops that sell cigarettes, in fact they are everywhere you look.

“Combustible tobacco – even with all the harm it causes – is still readily available…but you’ll be strong enough to resist that purchase urge, won’t you?”

Adam Metelmann

Here we compare the steps Aussies must take to import one of the most effective and successful smoking cessation tools to date and the requirements to purchase cigarettes.

How to access nicotine-containing vaping products in Australia

  1. First, you must book an appointment with a GP to discuss your smoking cessation options
  2. If they decide vaping is right for you, they may grant you a prescription
  3. However, there are only around 500 authorised prescribers of nicotine vaping products in Australia
  4. Next, take your prescription to a pharmacy that carries the products or order from an overseas seller through the Personal Importation Scheme
  5. If you order from an overseas supplier, you can only import three months of your prescribed nicotine vaping products at a time and they must meet the correct requirements
  6. You must also include a copy of your prescription in the order, otherwise it may be seized at the border.

How to access tobacco cigarettes in Australia

As long as you are of the legal smoking age you can buy cigarettes from thousands of locations including supermarkets, petrol stations and convenience stores across Australia.

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