Vaping in Australia isn’t as easy as it is in some countries, such as the United States and England. Vaping laws in the country remain strict, making it difficult for Australian vapers to buy electronic cigarettes and e-liquids that contain nicotine. However, there is a solution for vapers and would-be vapers in the country: online vape stores that ship to customers in Australia.
While regulations on the sale of nicotine vapes and vape juices in the country prevent adult Australians from visiting local stores to buy nicotine vaping products, online vape shops that are based overseas provide another route for Australians to buy these products. This comes as a result of the Australia’s import laws, which allow for the importation of nicotine vaping products, including electronic cigarettes and e-juices, so long as the products are imported for personal use and orders do not exceed a specified threshold. The limitation is three months, which means that Australians can only buy a three month supply of nicotine e-liquid at one time.
Under these rules, Australians can purchase nicotine e-liquids and have them shipped directly to their homes. Now while it is possible to buy nicotine vapes and vape juices online, not all online vape shops ship to customers in Australia. As a result, not all vape brands are necessarily accessible to the country’s growing population of vapers. Still, there are a number of shops that do ship to Australia, making it possible for Aussie vapers access a range of e-liquid flavors and e-cigarette kits.
As a result of the import laws allowing Australian customers to import nicotine e-liquids and e-cigs for personal use, a number of vape shops have sprung up to service the Aussie vaping community. Some of these shops provide express shipping to their customers in Australia, decreasing the time it takes for vape supplies to be delivered.
While it is possible for adult Australians to buy nicotine vaping supplies online from offshore companies that ship to Australia, there are laws in place which further govern their use and possession in the country. In some states, such as Western Australia, there are strict vaping laws in place that Australians must adhere to. As a result, the question of whether vaping is legal in Australia frequently arises among Australians who are interested in vaping.
In Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, there are provisions that classify e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 as well as the Medicine and Poisons Act 2014. As a result of these laws, e-cigs that contain nicotine as well as those that are nicotine-free are not legal to sell in the state. Regardless, it is still possible to purchase e-cigs and e-liquids from online vape stores that are not located in the state and have them shipped there.
As far as advertising and promotion is concerned, such marketing practices find themselves regulated under Australian law. In Perth, it’s illegal to advertise or promote e-cigarettes. This means that vapers in Perth are unlikely to see e-cigarette advertisements, receive free e-liquid and e-cigarette samples, or receive e-cigs as part of a sponsorship or shopper loyalty program. In some cases, however, shops have been known to provide samples for a small fee, which allows them to bypass the restriction on providing free samples.
In other parts of the country, such as Sydney, vapers can purchase electronic cigarettes as well as nicotine-free e-juices from local stores, however, e-cigs and e-liquids that contain nicotine are not accessible. This, in turn, causes some vapers to look to overseas vape companies that sell their nicotine e-cigs and e-liquids online, which has given rise to online vape shops that cater specifically to the Australian market.
These overseas vape shops that cater to the Australian market offer vapers in the country access to various e-cigarette and e-liquid brands. As a result, the country’s vapers have access to a wide range of vape juice flavors, including fruit, tobacco, and dessert flavors, just like they would were they in a country with more lenient regulations on vaping products.
While Australia’s legislators continue to the potential benefits and downsides to legalizing the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids in the country, other countries, such as England, have taken into account the findings of the latest scientific research into vaping and have acted accordingly. In the aftermath of Public Health England’s government mandated e-cigarette evidence review, which found e-cigarettes to likely be at least 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes, Public Health England moved to endorse the use of vaping for current smokers.
In a tweet published on Twitter, Public Health England stated plainly for all to read: “E-cigarettes have helped thousands of people in the UK successfully quit smoking.” The government agency, which is part of the UK’s public healthcare system, added that “44% of smokers either wrongly believe vaping is as harmful as smoking or don’t know that vaping poses much lower risks to health.”
Public Health England has gone as far as to recommend that NHS hospitals stock e-cigarettes to sell to patients and permit the use of such products in private rooms. In addition, the agency has recommended that government officials help manufacturers license e-cigs as medical quitting aids, also known as smoking cessations. This move would allow the country’s GPs to prescribe e-cigarettes to patients who are trying to quit smoking.
Regardless of all this, the laws in Australia, particularly in Western Australia, remain strict when it comes to vaping. Meanwhile, the cost of cigarettes continues to rise in an attempt to persuade the country’s smokers to give up the habit and to diminish their appeal and accessibility to potential smokers.