The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) banned the importation of nicotine liquids, and this ban was strongly protested by an Asia-Pacific coalition of tobacco harm reduction advocates. The coalition argued that this ban would deprive Australian vapers and existing tobacco smokers to use better alternatives.
According to a report, the smoking problem is quite severe in Australia, with about 21,000 deaths per year caused by smoking. But the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) claimed that this ban would only exacerbate the smoking problem rather than reduce the tobacco harm.
The ban on importation of vaping products for personal use in Australia will effect from 1 July, and this means that some types of e-cigarettes cannot be consumed for both vapers and cigarette smokers who want to find safer alternatives, according to CAPHRA.
This ban covers e-cigarettes with vaporizer nicotine (nicotine liquids and salts) and nicotine-containing refills. However, doctors and medical suppliers with a permit from the Health Department are allowed to import these kinds of products.
Moreover, according to the latest regulatory framework, vapers need to get a prescription from general practitioners, and could only obtain e-liquids from approved medical dispensaries.
Nancy Loucas, CAPHRA Executive Director, said in a statement:
"Smokers in Australia have been denied access to a proven harm reduction tool, and vapers in Australia have yet again been dealt a potentially fatal blow, which will see many of the 300,000 strong vaping community go back to smoking cigarettes."
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