Nicotine law postponed after massive protests

Road warriors and politicians stopped the ban on nicotine imports in Australia - temporarily

The Australian the government's decision to completely ban private imports of nicotine-containing e-juice was met with strong protests. The ban, which was due to start on 1 July, will not apply until the end of the year.

"We have won a victory, but the war is far from over. We must continue to fight for vejping with nicotine to become fully legal in Australia. But tonight we're celebrating," said the campaigners Legalise Vaping Australia in a Facebook post.

Referring vejpare to a doctor

One of the reasons for the reversal was a protest signed by 28 members of parliament. Health Secretary Greg Hunt vejp users who have quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes can now contact their doctors with peace of mind. Currently, smokers in Australia must obtain a prescription from a doctor before they can import nicotine for personal use. The general sale of nicotine-containing e-juice is prohibited.

"We have a group of people who use e-cigarettes with nicotine to quit smoking. We want to give them time to contact their doctors to get their nicotine prescriptions renewed. It should be a more seamless process" says Greg Hunt to The Guardian.

Outdated system for e-cigarettes

But for organisations like Legalise Vaping and Athra (Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association) the prescription system in Australia is outdated.

"In all countries where vejping is supported and healthily regulated, we see that smoking, among both adults and youth, is declining at a rapid pace. In Australia, despite the highest price per cigarette in the world and a ban on enticing packaging, smoking has not declined significantly since 2013," said Dr Joe Kosterich, Chairman of Athra to Sky News.

According to Joe Kosterich, nicotine should not be subject to prescription and e-juice with nicotine should be as easy, or as difficult, to obtain as traditional cigarettes.

"E-cigarettes help smokers find a less harmful alternative to smoking. We don't need draconian legislation but should look at e.g. New Zealand and take after," he tells Sky News.

Find out more about vejpning in Australia and New Zealand:
"A blow to vejpare"
New Zealand's new laws on e-cigarettes

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