Senate passes new vape laws from July 1

Woman vaping. | Newsreel
New laws will restrict the sale of vapes from July 1. | Photo: Igor Ilkov (iStock)

By Steve Zeppa

The Federal Senate today passed new laws which will restrict the sale of vapes in Australia from next week, with late changes to the Bill sparking mixed reactions.

From July 1, it will be illegal for any retailers to sell any vape or related products, regardless of nicotine content.

Pharmacist will be able to supply vapes via a prescription from July 1 and then from October 1 will be able to sell vapes over-the-counter without a prescription.

It is the October change, which the Government agreed to at the last minute in order to obtain Green support for the broader Bill, that has raised some negative reaction.

The Pharmacy Guild said the late amendment changed the current medicines schedule for nicotine-containing vapes from Schedule 4 (Prescription Only) to Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only).

“Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who dispense medication that provides a proven therapeutic benefit,” the Guild said in a statement.

“No vaping product has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration based on its safety, efficacy or performance. No vaping product is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.”

It said everyone wanted to keep illegal vapes out of the hands of kids and teenagers, but the expectation that community pharmacies become vape retailers was insulting.

Otherwise, the new laws received wide-spread support from the likes of the Cancer Council, Royal Australian College of GPs, the Australian Medical Association and the Public Health Association of Australia.

In other news, Queensland Police are investigating multiple break-and-enters at tobacconists across South-East Queensland overnight.

Police said a group of males rammed a business on Discovery Dr in Helensvale just after 1am this morning and around an hour later, the same vehicle was believed to have been used to ram a business on Logan Rd in Stones Corner.

Just before 3am, a group of people broke into a business on Cavendish Rd in Coorparoo using crow bars, before leaving in an unknown SUV, then around 3.45am, another business was broken into on Downs St in North Ipswich, where they used crowbars to open the security doors, before leaving in a blue SUV.

Meanwhile, earlier in the night, a group broke into a business on Collingwood Dr in Collingwood Park.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the links between these incidents … (and the new vape laws*).

* Editor comment