Australia Becomes First Country to Restrict Vape Sales to Pharmacies

Australia bans vape sales pharmacies

Australia has taken a bold step in the fight against youth vaping by becoming the first country to restrict vape sales to pharmacies. As of July 1, 2024, the government has implemented new laws that ban the domestic manufacture, supply, commercial possession, and advertisement of disposable and non-therapeutic vapes.

The reforms mandate that vapes be sold only behind pharmacy counters, with strict controls on nicotine concentrations and dispensing quantities. Vape packaging will be plain, and flavors will be limited to tobacco, menthol, and mint.

Prescriptions Required Until October, Enforcement Measures in Place

Adults will need a prescription from their GP to buy a therapeutic vape until October 2024. After this date, only children under 18 will need a prescription.

Federal and state authorities, including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, TGA, and health and police departments, will enforce the new laws. The TGA believes the rules will simplify the process of combating the illicit vape supply, as lab testing for nicotine will no longer be necessary.

Businesses Push Back, Government Remains Firm

Many vape-selling businesses have opposed the reforms, calling them “dysfunctional” and warning of a potential black market.

However, the government stands by the reforms, emphasizing that enforcement will focus on sellers, not consumers. Individuals selling non-therapeutic vapes could face up to seven years in jail and $2.2 million in fines, while corporations could face penalties of up to $21.91 million per violation.

Australia Leads the Way in Vape Regulation

These latest reforms build on legislation passed in March 2024, which banned vape imports without a license and permit. The government’s multi-phase plan aims to tackle the growing problem of youth vaping and its health consequences.

As Australia sets a precedent in vape sale restrictions, the international community will closely monitor the impact of these pioneering reforms on public health and the vaping industry.

Source: The sale of vapes outside pharmacies has been banned across Australia – here’s what you need to know

Matthew Ma