Travelling with Vape Gear: Vaping in Australia
If you’re a vaper considering heading down under you need to read this.
Obviously, Australia is a very big place, almost as large as the US, and similar to America its legal system operates on both a federal (centrally governed) and individual State basis. So what is legal in say Queensland, might not be in Victoria, and so on.
And I’m sad to say that after over a year of debate, claim and counterclaim in the Australian parliament, the law around vaping seems to be coming down on the side of the naysayers.
Liquid nicotine, and any e-liquids containing nicotine, are already classified as a poison by Australian authorities, which means that they cannot legally be sold. In Western Australia, it’s even illegal to purchase a vaping device!
Vapers have been getting around the legislation in a familiar way to TPD affected vapers in this country – the juices sold in vape shops are zero nicotine and users add their own nicotine or nic salt solution to make their preferred strength.
The law has allowed for this, albeit in an oblique and buck-passing way. An Australian citizen has the legal right to import three months of his or her own nicotine supplies from abroad. It’s another round the houses approach but, whatever, they can still get the products they need.
But under increasing pressure from conservative elements in what is seen as a traditional and cautious government, the law is in the process of making life harder for vapers, as well as all the smokers who could benefit from making the switch. They’ve justified this using the same well-worn phrases we’ve been hearing for a few years now – it increases particle content in the air which may be harmful, and is seen as a gateway to get young people into cigarettes.
From July 2018, it will become illegal to vape in any public space in New South Wales. And if you’re caught breaking the law, that’s a $550 fine, thank you very much!
“Put simply, where you are not allowed to smoke cigarettes, you now cannot vape either,” stated the health minister, Brad Hazzard.
This puts New South Wales in line with other States who are taking an increasing anti-vaping line, like Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. That’s almost all of them! Only the Northern Territory is holding out, but who knows for how long?
Inside the parliament, opinion is split between a conservative majority, who are essentially anti-vaping, and liberal leaning politicians like MP Andrew Laming. Mr Laming put out what may be the shortest parliamentary statement ever, when he simply said:
“Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping.”
What a shame he’s not writing the laws!
The legal situation for vaping in Australia is a complex and changeable one. If you’re considering taking a holiday in Oz, or even emigrating, it’s something you should know about in order to avoid a serious blow in the holiday wallet, or who knows, even deportation! Wouldn’t that be ironic? Getting transported back to the UK?
We advise that you check the specific laws in the State you wish to visit before you travel, or visit this useful Aussie vaping site which breaks down the laws into the fine detail. Pre-warned is pre-armed people!