Australia’s new regulations are causing wide-spread confusion across the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel.
As of October 1st, vapers in Australia are only able to purchase vaping products from pharmacies via prescription. While retailers in neighbouring New Zealand and most other countries are able to responsibly sell nicotine products over the counter, anyone caught violating Australia’s harsh regulations will face steep fines, and in some cases even imprisonment.
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey has recently reported that while over 2.5 million Australians still smoke, the number of vapers was 240,000 in 2016 and 520,000 in 2019. If the number of Australians vaping has been increasing at this rate, as many as 600,000 may be vaping now.
The AACS is pointing out that these new regulations are causing wide-spread confusion across the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel. “Retailers are expecting to see some confused customers in the coming weeks and months. We have been left in the dark on how this impacts convenience stores around the country. We are still unaware of what we can communicate to consumers on the new regulations and whether that violates the tobacco act in some states. We need information to share with our members urgently.”
The AACS is against the sales of vapes in pharmacies
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has previously been on the record as stating that it is against selling the vaping products, “The Guild is opposed to having these products in any schedule that would allow for sale in a pharmacy. The Guild does not support the sale of personal vaporizers in pharmacies, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine”.
While the AACS’ believes that nicotine products should still be available at existing licensed tobacco retailers. “We stand ready as responsible tobacco retailers who are trusted by our consumers to give smokers seeking a less harmful alternative and supply that to them. What the Federal Government is doing is locking smokers out of a far less harmful product, denying Australians who smoke the opportunity to reduce cigarette consumption or quit smoking altogether.”
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