Members Club Exclusive Early Magazine VAPOUROUND-MAGAZINE-ISSUE-22-WEB-compressed - Page 92

FEATURE STATE OF THE NATION: AUSTRALIA AND THE NORTHERN TERRITORY Australia continues to tighten regulations of the use of e-cigarettes, despite other countries in the Commonwealth recognising their many benefits. By Phoebe Fuller It’s well known that Australia has some of the strictest vaping laws in the world, but the Australian Government’s unflinching stance on vaping could be considered especially unusual given the many similarities – in other respects – between the Oceanic nation and more lenient Western countries. A March 9 report by The McKell Institute, co-authored by Australian vape-advocate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, has called for a relaxation of vaping laws, backing the e-cigarette as a legitimate smoking cessation aid. The ‘Vaping in Australia’ report says that current policy is “increasingly out of step,” with countries such as New Zealand and the UK declaring “tobacco harm reduction through vaping is the missing ingredient in Australia’s tobacco control plan.” Professor Mendelsohn and co-author Dr Alex Wodak have proposed legalising nicotine e-liquid sales down under to those over 18. They’ve also suggested restricted advertising, which avoids marketing to young people and non-smokers, as well as strict manufacturing standards and continuing research into the safety of e-liquid flavours. Though current penalties for breaking nicotine sales laws differ between states and territories, prohibition of liquid nicotine is consistent throughout Australia. The country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) considers liquid nicotine a poison and they don’t seem likely to change their mind about it any time soon. But such is the demand for non-tobacco-based nicotine that in August 2016, Australian health advocates submitted proposals to the TGA requesting nicotine concentrations below 3.6 percent be removed from the Poison Standard. These proposals were rejected, and traders remain strictly prohibited from selling anything besides zero-nicotine. The Northern Territory is especially tough on nicotine sales: it’s one of only three states and territories to include a prison sentence as punishment for infractions, alongside Tasmania and the Australian 92 | VM22