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    Have your say in the Australian Senate Vaping Inquiry

    Ali Anderson
    Ali Anderson
    April 12, 2024
    4 min read
    Download Source FilesDownload Source Files

    Make your submission before the deadline TODAY (12/04/2024)

    Vapers are being urged to send a submission to the Senate Vaping Inquiry in Australia to oppose a new national vape ban.

    The vaping bill before parliament is intended to ban “the importation, domestic manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of vaping goods”. 

    Alongside regulations brought in at the start of the year, it restricts “the importation, distribution and supply of all vapes to established pharmaceutical supply chains.” 

    Vapes will only be available with a prescription from GPs and nurse practitioners, and only pharmacists are authorised to import them. Tobacco stores, vape shops and convenience stores will no longer be able to lawfully supply any type of vape. 

    The aim of the Bill is to protect children and young people from taking up vaping and to only make vapes available to adults on prescription to help them quit smoking.

    The legislation includes civil penalties for the “importation, manufacture, supply, advertisement and commercial possession of unlawful vapes.” There will also be increased penalties, including up to seven years imprisonment for convicted offenders. 

    The Bill is now being looked at by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2024. This provides a vital chance for you to have your say. 

    A better model is needed

    Vaping advocates argue that this strict model will fail adult smokers who need easy access to vapes to help them quit, and create a thriving and dominant black market controlled by criminals. 

    Dr Colin Mendelsohn says: “The current illegal markets make it easier, not harder, for teens to access vapes, because there are no restrictions on who can buy them. Underage users have easy access to unlabelled, high-nicotine, unregulated products.

    “Australia’s de facto ban has handed control of the vaping market to criminal networks. Ninety percent of adult vapers purchase their products from illegal sources. This has led to an escalating turf war with nearly 60 firebombings of tobacco and vape shops so far, public executions and extortion. Organised crime groups are recruiting vulnerable kids to commit crimes.

    “History has shown that intensive enforcement and border control efforts have minimal long-term impact on the availability of drugs in the community if demand is strong and controls are easy to overcome.”

    Mendelsohn says that under the current Bill, the legal retail vape and manufacturing industry will be forced to close, leading to loss of employment and bankruptcies.

    However, he argues, a legal vaping industry will generate substantial economic benefits. He says: “These include a taxation windfall, substantial savings in healthcare and compliance costs, reduced GP visits and reduced smoking cessation treatment costs.

    “It will also stimulate the economy and create manufacturing and export opportunities.”

    Make your submission to the inquiry

    Mendelsohn is now urging all vapers to make a submission to Parliament - before the deadline of TODAY (COB 12 April 2024) - calling for a different approach. 

    He says: “A better approach is for the Bill to be amended to an adult consumer framework with strict age verification, with vapes sold like cigarettes and alcohol.”

    Below are some thought starters to help you prepare your submission. It is best to be concise and keep your submission to no more than two to three pages. 


    Start by briefly describing who you are and the difficulty you had quitting smoking. Explain how vaping helped you quit and how it has benefited your health and finances.

    Say why the current model is not working

    Explain why, in your opinion, the current prescription-only model is not working, and why it will not work even with modifications and further enforcement. 

    Reasons could include:

    • Few doctors provide nicotine prescriptions or support for vaping. Is your doctor willing and able to prescribe nicotine?
    • Getting a script is costly and difficult
    • Very few pharmacies stock products that have helped you quit. Are there any suppliers near you?
    • Why you think vapes should be a consumer product (like cigarettes), not a medicine or “therapeutic product” requiring a prescription
    • How flavour restrictions may affect you
    • Are you at-risk of going back to smoking?
    • Do you think vapers will follow the restrictions (be careful not to incriminate yourself)
    • Your concerns about being able to access safe, regulated vaping products under the current model
    • The current model has fuelled youth vaping. This is the direct result of the black market
    • Your concerns that criminal gangs have taken over the market, creating a frightening crime wave (firebombings, murders, extortion)
    • History shows prohibition never works. Illegal products will still enter the country and the black market will just go underground. Enforcement and policing are ineffective.

    The need for better regulation

    Explain why a different regulatory framework would work better. For example, under New Zealand’s model, nicotine vapes are sold as adult consumer products from licensed retail outlets with strict age verification. Vape shops can provide expert advice, support, and a wider range of products. 

    Licensed retailers are unlikely to sell to kids if there is a risk of losing their licence and paying large fines. There is no significant black market in New Zealand.

    Points to consider:

    • Why would this model be better for you? Would it give you better access to safe, regulated, approved products?
    • How would it reduce youth vaping and the black market?
    • How would it help the economy, providing employment and tax revenue?
    • Why the government should support adult smokers, not just focus on youth vaping
    • Vaping should be at least as easy to access as deadly cigarettes
    • Your human right to choose a safer alternative to smoking to improve your health

    Making your submission

    The deadline for submissions is TODAY Friday, 12 April 2024.

    Here is the committee’s inquiry page for more information: Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 [Provisions] – Parliament of Australia (

    Submissions can be lodged online or via email.

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