Vaping News

Hunt’s Ban In Ruins

Australia’s Greg Hunt and the Therapeutic Goods Administration has received another knockback to plans to restrict access to vaping

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In June, Australia’s Minister for Health Greg Hunt, a member of the illiberal Liberal Party, was forced into a humiliating U-turn with his plan to ban the importation of liquid nicotine. Having implemented a delay to that aspect has now been compounded by him being compelled to abandon his plan to ban the importation of vape kit.

For a short while before Christmas is looked possible that Hunt’s humiliation could get even worse as some politicians with a dose of common sense sought to overturn the government’s prescription-only policy on vaping.

Matt Canavan and Hollie Hughes attempted to change policy to allow vapers to legally buy devices and liquids containing nicotine from other countries. Unfortunately, they were met with the blinkered opposition that relied on debunked claims of a gateway effect roping children into tobacco use.

The pair proposed Australia ought to adopt the successful consumer-based approach to legislation that has benefitted smokers in the United Kingdom.

The level of ignorance and toxicity in the Australian debate was illustrated by the First Assistant Secretary of Health Protection saying there is “no evidence” that vaping works to help smokers quit – Public Health England’s figures demonstrates this statement is utterly untrue.

Previously, Colin Mendelsohn, Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, said: “The evidence is very clear, that vaping is more effective than other quitting aids and could significantly reduce Australia's smoking rate.”

In what is being termed “a revolt”, Canavan and Hughes’ action did manage to get Hunt to drop his attempt to ban the importation of vaping mods and atomisers.

Hollie Hughes obtained signatures of 28 other MPs to oppose the import restriction. She told journalists: “After the TGA [Therapeutic Goods Administration] and Hunt announcements, it’s clear they’ve listened, reversed position on the regulation, and that’s no longer on the table. We welcome that move. We’ve gone from an attempt to restrict vaping to what is fundamentally the status quo with a step to legalisation through a national prescription scheme.”

It’s not all good news though as laws remain in place in all bar one state that criminalise the possession of a vaping device or bottles containing juice with nicotine without the possession of a prescription.

The TGA responded to the Hunt dropping the block on imports by stating: “Individuals attempting to import commercial quantities of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine may be subject to importation and seizure of products and potential fines under existing regulation.”

Sarah Henderson, despite being the reason Canavan and Hughes’s attempt to overturn the nicotine import aspect failed, added a note of optimism when she said: “The TGA should consider reviewing the classification of liquid nicotine to enable it to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription.”


  • U-Turn Hunt, Planet Of The Vapes – [link]
  • Vapo Slams Australia Nic Ban, Planet Of The Vapes – [link]

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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