Australian MPs Block Vape Ban Power Grab

The Australian ban on importing nicotine ejuices has been postponed until January 1st, 2021. Australian vapers can place orders with Vapor4Life until further notice.

This is a temporary reprieve for adult smokers in Australia who have made the switch to vaping and depend on imported nicotine e-liquids. We apologize to any customers who stocked up prematurely in anticipation of the ban. Like the rest of the vaping world and the Australian parliament, we were caught off-guard when this regulatory overreach was announced by the Australian Department of Health on June 19, 2020.  

The initial vape ban was written so that even orders arriving on July 1st could be seized by customs and the recipient subject to stiff fines. Provided only a handful of business days to accept Australian orders before the continent was cut off entirely from nicotine eliquids, we naturally encouraged our loyal customers to stock up while they could still legally do so.

Australia Vape Ban

The Australian E-Liquid ban was a heavy handed edict from above drawn up by anti-vaping activist Greg Hunt, not a conventional piece of legislation. It was created without any input from elected officials. This heavy handed power grab usurped parliamentary prerogatives and received immediate push-back. Implementation has been delayed 6 months and hopefully Parliament will be able to take the initiative to block any future power grabs. It seems unlikely that the Greg Hunt led Department of Health has any interest in staying in their lane unless compelled to.

The Department of Health ban included disposable e-cigs, prefilled cartridges and bottled ejuices containing nicotine. Under the new rules, it would have still been technically possible to vape nicotine products but a prescription from a doctor was required. Even with a prescription in hand, you could not import nicotine directly from an overseas supplier but instead eliquids would have to be acquired on your behalf by a medical supplier, pharmacist or approved courier service.

This eliquid ban was to start on 7/1/2020 but has been pushed back until 1/1/2021

The Australian vape ban included no new restrictions on combustible cigarettes, forcing vapers to choose between big pharma’s nicotine replacement therapies (which were crushed by vaping in a New England Journal of Medicine study), smoking or a puritanical standard of total abstinence which is applied to no other legal adult behavior. It is pretty easy to guess which of these three outcomes is most likely.

Evidence from San Francisco shows that vape bans mean more smoking. This potential uptick in smoking and cutting off access to cigarette alternatives is just one way that strict e-cig laws punish marginalized groups. Flavor bans could potentially have a similar impact as they deny adult vapers the flavors they prefer. As demonstrated conclusively in a study of 69,000 adult vapers conducted by Dr. Constantin Farsalino, the vast majority of former smokers who vape prefer sweet and bright dessert, beverage and fruit flavored ejuices.

Australian Coalition MPs Push Back

As reported by The Guardian, Australian MPs took a rather dim of Mr. Hunt’s effort to usurp their powers and dictate national policy in such an undemocratic manner. Both Liberal and National Back Benchers in favor of nicotine vaping did not hesitate to criticize the vape ban.

The move by the Department of Health was timed to coincide with Parliament’s 6 week summer adjournment and as mentioned above, provided vapers almost no time to react to the new restrictions.

Liberal Party Representative George Christensen, took aim at the vape ban on Facebook:

“This was all done without any consultation with the public or many government MPs including myself. “I completely oppose the move, which could result in people returning to cigarettes or purchasing potentially dangerous alternatives on the black market”

George Christensen, Liberal Party MP

James Paterson informed the Guardian Australia that his support of vaping remains “unchanged”.

“Vaping is a safer alternative to smoking. We should be making it easier for smokers to quit, not harder. We should safely regulate vaping like virtually every other developed nation has done. I completely oppose the move, which could result in people returning to cigarettes or purchasing potentially dangerous alternatives on the black market.”

James Paterson, Liberal Party Senator

Back in March 2018, Liberal MPs Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson and Andrew Laming all expressed support for vaping. Zimmerman informed Guardian Australia that he remains, “convinced vaping could play a major role in moving people from tobacco to a safer product”.

“It is inexplicable to me why the government would act during a pandemic – when all evidence is that smoking increases the health risk for those who catch coronavirus – in a way that could result in more people going back to smoking.”

Trent Zimmerman, Liberal Party MP

Nationals senator Matt Canavan argued that it is overkill to impose fines, “for importing what is in most countries a legal product. Australian vapers are urged to sign this petition: https://t.co/QhSnRAptAk?amp=1

US Vape Bans

Power grabs like the Australian vape ban have been all too common in the US.

An outbreak of lung disease was falsely attributed to nicotine vaping by just about every media outlet in the United States. What journalists failed consistently missed was the fact that as early as September 2019, states as diverse as Utah and New York had identified the cause of vaping lung disease: THC carts contaminated with vitamin E acetate. Unfortunately, the retraction never gets the attention that the initial headline does, let alone a thousand headlines, and it is impossible to unring the bell of fear.

Governors in New York, Washington, Michigan, New Jersey, Utah, Montana and other states were able to force emergency decrees that banned nicotine vape flavors in response to adulterated cannabis cartridges. For a complete guide to the cloud-cuckoo world of US state vape bans, check out our state vape ban guide.

Intentionally misleading headlines about “e-cigs” conflated commercially available nicotine products and the black-market cannabis products which were actually responsible. The CDC failed to find vitamin E acetate in even one of the nicotine e-liquids they tested and went so far as to explain why vitamin E acetate was incompatible with the vegetable glycerin/propylene glycol blends used in nicotine vapes.

“Pure THC oil has a viscosity like that of vitamin E acetate. Cutting THC oil with vitamin E acetate has been reported to be common in the illicit market.9-11 The FDA reports that most case-associated THC product fluids contain vitamin E acetate, at an average concentration of 50% by weight, ranging from 23 to 88%.8 By contrast, the FDA detected no vitamin E acetate in 197 case-associated nicotine products analyzed to date. The viscosity of vitamin E acetate makes it undesirable as an additive to nicotine solutions; the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin in nicotine solutions create a fluid with a much lower viscosity than that of vitamin E acetate.

Centers for Disease Control, ” Vitamin E Acetate in Bronchoalveolar-Lavage Fluid Associated with EVALI”, 12/20/2019

Perhaps coincidentally, release of this information was delayed to coincide with the Christmas holiday and tremendous damage was inflicted on the vaping industry cannot be easily undone. Even though the CDC has confirmed the vitamin E is responsible for vaping lung disease, an adulterant they only identified in THC carts, ever more restrictive vape bans continue to gain momentum.

ELiquid Flavor Bans

Another piece of seemingly good news for the vaping industry this winter failed to turn the tide of US public opinion against e-cig restrictions. A long awaited CDC survey of youth tobacco and nicotine use, which was scheduled to be released in August 2019 but did not appear until December, revealed that vape flavors were not the primary, secondary or even tertiary reason why kids vape.

Vapor4Life is dedicated to providing smoke and ash free cigarette alternatives to adult vapers and former smokers. We have no interest in selling to non-smokers and actively oppose underage vaping. We use industry leading age verification software and card anyone who places an order with us.

Our goal has always been to help our customers make the switch from smoking to vaping and to help vapers reduce their nicotine level by providing lower nicotine alternatives. Our end goal is to help our customers achieve a nicotine free lifestyle.