Some regulatory facts of the vaping situation in Australia
Plain packaging was first introduced as a tobacco control technique in Australia in 2012 and has since been introduced, under the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), in France, the UK and Ireland.
According to ECigIntelligence’s latest e-cigarette global markets database, 15.2% of Australians over the age of 18 smoke, while the National Drug Strategy Household Survey has reported that 1.2% of Australians aged 14 and over were e-cigarette users in 2016.
The current regulatory framework for e-cigarettes is shared between the federal government and the states and territories, and may also apply to therapeutic goods, poisons and consumer goods.
Australian consumers can import e-cigs containing nicotine in limited quantities for personal use, on condition that the importer must hold a prescription from an Australian-registered medical practitioner and only import no more than three months’ supply at a time.
The manufacture and import for commercial purposes of e-cigarette hardware and nicotine-free products are permitted in all states except Western Australia as long as no therapeutic claims are made.
Since nicotine-free vapour products are considered consumer products and can be sold freely, various state-level regulations have been enacted to protect minors, such as age restrictions, retail licensing and public place use bans.