On June 19th, the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia, or TGA, announced a crackdown on the importation of nicotine vapor products.
These regulations, which were set to go into effect on July 1st, would have seen the import of nicotine vapor products and nicotine e-liquid banned from entering the country, and anyone caught trying to illegally bring products into the country would face a hefty, two hundred and twenty thousand dollar fine.
Unlike their neighbors in New Zealand, Australia already has one of the most restrictive stances on nicotine vapor technology in the world. In August 2018, the Government passed legislation creating a comprehensive set of offenses targeting the possession, purchase, and production of these products. As for the reason why, the government points to “health risks” like nicotine poisoning, citing an incident of a child who ingested pure nicotine liquid when their parents were not around.
However, hundreds of thousands of Australians have used these safer nicotine products to quit smoking and when the news broke of these additional restrictions, many people were shocked.
In this VIDA News SPOTLIGHT, Senior Correspondent Dom Garrett sits down with Dr. Joe Kosterich, the chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association as well as a practicing general practitioner and Fiona Patten, a member of parliament in Victoria and the leader of the Reason Party. They discuss the potential ban, what it means for those that use the products, and the idea of ideology vs science.