NSW Police Continue To Seize Illegal Nicotine Vapes

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In Australia, there are legal nicotine vapes and there are illegal nicotine vapes. It’s the latter of which that authorities in the country have been seizing and in New South Wales the police have already seized over $1 million worth in just this year alone. That’s a lot of vapes.

But we should clarify, that it’s not just vaping devices that the authorities have been seizing, it’s also e-liquid, which is the liquid that goes inside of e-cigarettes to be heated and turned into vapour.

In total, authorities in NSW have seized over $3 million worth of illegal vaping products since 1 July 2020.

Which Nicotine Vapes Are Illegal?

Ever since the Australian Government passed legislation requiring a prescription for nicotine vaping products, a whole lot of vaping products have quickly become illegal. For example, anyone who lacks a valid prescription and is in possession of a vaping product containing nicotine is in possession of an illegal vaping product. The reason for this is that a valid prescription from an Australian doctor is required to possess a nicotine-containing vaping product, such as a nicotine e-cigarette or nicotine e-juice. But the law doesn’t end there in what it restricts. Valid prescriptions are also required to legally buy or use vaping products that contain nicotine.

At least for now, authorities in the country do not appear to be primarily targeting individual vapers in possession of nicotine vaping products without a prescription, rather, it appears as if they may be primarily focused on local retailers that are selling nicotine-containing vaping products despite the fact that local retailers are prohibited from selling nicotine-containing vaping products. Only Australian pharmacies can legally sell vaping products containing nicotine in Australia. Outside of local pharmacies, the only other legal option that vapers in the country have to purchase vaping products that contain nicotine is through importation via an overseas supplier. Regardless of which route vapers take, a valid prescription is required.

Dr Kerry Chant, the NSW Chief Health Officer, said in a statement that they are “cracking down on the illegal sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid and taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who sell them”.

“We are cracking down on the illegal sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid and taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who sell them (…) NSW Health regularly conducts raids on retailers across the state to protect young people from these harmful devices. You will be caught, illegal items will be seized, and you could face prosecution, resulting in being fined or even jailed.”

The Penalty For Selling Illegal Vapes

The maximum penalty for illegally selling vaping products that contain nicotine is $1,650 per offence and six months in prison, or both.

Individuals who sell to minors face up to an $11,000 fine for the first offence and up to $55,000 for a second or subsequent offence. Meanwhile, corporations who sell to minors face up to $55,000 for their first offence and up to $110,000 for their second or subsequent.


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