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Fancy 7 Years in Jail?

The Department of Health and Aged Care Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced what the Australian regulatory changes mean – and it’s very surprising for vapers

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The Department of Health and Aged Care Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced what the Australian regulatory changes mean. Part of the clarification details what constitutes a “commercial quantity of vapes” for the purpose of receiving a fine, and Aussie vapers need to be scared…very scared.

Ostensibly, the TGA is detailing “what businesses involved in the wholesale, transport, logistics, and storage of vapes need to know about the regulation of vapes, and how to ensure they comply with the new requirements.”

The government body states that from 1 July 2024, new regulations apply to all vapes, including vaping devices, irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims. This means:

  • only pharmacies (and health practitioners in certain circumstances) can lawfully supply vapes to consumers 
  • vapes can only be distributed to pharmacies through supply chains for prescription medicines
  • new requirements will apply for some businesses involved in the wholesale, transport, logistics, and storage of vapes 
  • only notified vapes can be lawfully imported, manufactured and supplied in Australia, unless an exception applies
  • non-pharmacy retailers are not permitted to supply/sell any type of vape.

All businesses will now need an importation licence from the Office of Drug Control for vapes and juices complying with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

The TGA says: “Ecigs containing vitamins or melatonin, and heat not burn tobacco products are not eligible to obtain an import permit.”

Vapes and juices that don’t contain nicotine, may only be supplied by wholesalers who are either:

  • licenced or authorised under state or territory laws to supply substances that are included in Schedule 4 to the Poisons Standard;
  • the holder of a licence and permission to import vaping goods 
  • the holder of a licence from the TGA to manufacture vaping goods, or the holder of a conformity assessment document that applies to the goods 

The nonsense law extends to transport companies who also need to obtain a licence in order to convey deliveries from an importer to a pharmacist.

What about the stores that held stock before this law change?

The TGA says they’ve had long enough to get rid of now illegal products and are no longer allowed to “supply or possess for commercial purposes any vapes that do not meet the requirements” – this means hundreds of thousands of products that help people quit smoking and keep them from sliding back have to be destroyed.

What do vapers need to worry about?

Vapers need to be worried about the definition of what constitutes “a commercial quantity of vapes”.

Fancy guessing how many vapes makes you a potential business operating illegally?

The commercial possession restrictions prohibit:

  • any person possessing a commercial quantity of 14 vaping devices
  • any person possessing a commercial quantity of 90 vaping accessories
  • any person possessing a commercial quantity of 600mL of eliquid

Fourteen mods! You may laugh now!

What are the penalties?

The maximum penalties that will apply are up to 7 years in jail per offence and/or up to $2.191 million per contravention for an individual and $21.91 million per contravention for a corporation. “

It’s official: Australia has gone fruitloop bonkers.

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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