Thursday, February 22, 2024

New vaping reforms commencing soon

The first stage of Australia’s new vaping reforms are set to commence on 1 January.

These reforms, according to the federal government, will protect Australians, particularly young people, from the harms of vaping and nicotine dependence.

From 1 January, the government will implement a ban on the importation of disposable single use vapes. This is subject to legislative and administrative arrangements being approved, including by the Governor-General in Federal Executive Council.

In parallel with this ban, a new Special Access Scheme pathway to prescribe vapes will commence on 1 January. This will facilitate “improved” access to therapeutic vapes, whereby all medical practitioners and nurse practitioners will be able to prescribe their use where clinically appropriate.

From 1 March, further changes are expected to commence, including the:

  • Cessation of the personal importation of vapes
  • Ban on the importation of non-therapeutic vapes
  • Requirement for therapeutic vape importers and manufacturers to notify the Therapeutic Goods Administration of their product’s compliance with the relevant product standards
  • Requirement for importers to obtain a licence and permit from the Australian government’s Office of Drug Control before the products are imported.

During 2024, product standards for therapeutic vapes will also be strengthened, including to limit flavours, reduce permissible nicotine concentrations and require pharmaceutical packaging. A transition period will be allowed for businesses to comply with the new requirements.

The government will introduce legislation in 2024 to prevent domestic manufacture, advertisement, supply and commercial possession of non-therapeutic and disposable single use vapes to ensure comprehensive controls on vapes across all levels of the supply chain.

To introduce and enforce these reforms, the government will provide an additional $25 million to Australian Border Force and $56.9 million to the Therapeutic Goods Administration over two years.

Alongside these measures, the government is expanding and strengthening vaping and smoking cessation support services. The 2023-24 Budget provided $29.5 million in funding to help Australians quit.

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