Friday, 26 June 2020

Australia delays nicotine ban after backlash from vapers

Following on from Wednesday's post about the once-in-a-lifetime stockpiling by Australian vapers as they prepare for a ban on personal imports of vape juice, I'm pleased to report some good news...

Greg Hunt has delayed the introduction of a ban on imports of liquid nicotine for vaping by six months, after his unilateral decision prompted widespread backlash on the Coalition backbench.

The health minister announced on Friday the ban will now apply from 1 January, with a “streamlined process” for patients to get a prescription from their GP.

The backdown came just two days after Coalition MPs began to openly campaign against the ban and one day after the government made a regulation for the ban to apply from 1 July.

What that 'streamlined process' will involve, I know not. There is a suggestion that vapers will be able to get e-cigarette fluid on prescription, which would be better than nothing in that puritanical country. At the least, the six month delay this allows the government time to have a rethink.

The Guardian article quoted above presents this partial U-turn as the result of a backbench revolt. It doesn't mention that Aussie MPs have had their phones ringing off the hook as furious e-cigarette users expressed their dismay. As Donald Trump found out last year, you don't mess with vapers.

In the Australian, Peter Hoystead suggests that the plan to ban vape juice imports is about protecting tobacco tax revenue. Surely not!

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