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Australia withdrew the ban on the import of e-cigarettes, and many parties successfully protested!

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Australia withdrew the ban on the import of e-cigarettes, and many parties successfully protested!

Issue Time:2020-07-03

Australia withdrew the ban on the import of e-cigarettes, and many parties successfully protested!

If e-cigarette users in Australia are celebrating too much today, please forgive them.

After all, a ban on nicotine imports, which will take effect on July 1, was suddenly withdrawn by the Australian Department of Health at Greg Hunt, and was postponed until January 1, 2021.

The ban was announced on June 20 and will extend the ban on the import of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine for one year, effective July 1.

The ban shows that from July 1st, the import of nicotine-containing e-cigarette liquids will be banned, and anyone who violates the regulations will be fined $220,000.

But e-cigarette users can still obtain nicotine e-liquid through doctor's prescription.

However, according to local media reports, the sad reality is that only a very small number of Australian doctors are willing to write nicotine prescriptions in accordance with current laws, and given the complex and time-consuming requirements of the new plan, there are even fewer people now willing.

After the ban was announced, the Australian Health Minister felt angry protests and opposition from local e-cigarette users.

Angry opponents entered social media and called and wrote to local officials to complain.

At the same time, a petition created by two members of Congress against the ban received more than 52,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

This was a protest from the people. What made the Minister of Health even more troublesome was that his own backyard also caught fire.

After the Minister of Health announced the ban, his colleagues, including members of his own party, faced growing opposition.

On Thursday, 28 members of the ruling coalition signed a letter opposing the ban on imports of nicotine.

Senators Matthew Carnawan and George Christensen and other members of the House of Commons publicly opposed Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to attack 500,000 Australian e-cigarette users.

They launched a petition to overturn the import ban on nicotine e-cigarette liquid, and instead legalized and regulated it.

Pay attention to this word, legalize it and supervise it.

28 members of Congress warned that cumbersome regulatory requirements would effectively prohibit people from buying atomized liquids and make them re-smoker.

They believe that the rapid implementation of import restrictions is too hasty and completely unrealistic.

Members of Congress said that with this in mind, we would like to ask the government to repeal regulations establishing a new regulatory framework and allow existing plans to continue at least until the end of the year, while at the same time conducting further consultations on the proposed changes.

After the ban was announced, the parties responded:

1. Civil society organizations protest: deprivation of rights

The Asia Pacific Alliance for Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) protested Australia’s ban on the import of nicotine liquid, saying it would deprive millions of Australian smokers and existing smokers of the right to better alternatives.

CAPHRA said the use of e-cigarettes, heated non-burning tobacco products and other electronic nicotine delivery systems is considered part of the tobacco harm reduction, which is a public health strategy aimed at providing alternative methods to reduce the risks caused by smoking.

The ban also caused protests from the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA), the Progressive Public Health Alliance (PPHA), Aotearoa Vape Community Advocacy (AVCA) and Legalization Australia (LVA).

2. New Zealand e-cigarette organization: should learn from New Zealand

New Zealand's Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy Group (AVCA) expressed its strong support for Australian e-cigarette users and opposed the prohibition of the importation of nicotine e-cigarette products by individuals without prescriptions into Australia.

AVCA said that in view of the large amount of evidence that the harm of electronic atomization products is relatively small, the only logical approach in Australia is to properly legislate these products as consumer products with all relevant protective measures, and New Zealand is now doing so. Australia’s latest regulations are absolutely terrible.

3. Public policy experts: there are better policies

Professor Wayne Hall, a public policy expert at the University of Queensland, told the Australian Science Media Centre that this will drive an emerging black market.

Professor Hall said the proposed policy is the secret to expanding the scale of the illicit market for e-cigarettes.

He said a better policy is to allow e-cigarettes that meet consumer safety standards to be sold to adults as consumer goods. These products can be sold through a limited range of outlets that are not accessible to young people, such as tobacco shops or adult shops, and the sales of these outlets can be closely monitored.

4. New Zealand e-cigarette sales surge

After the Australian government announced a ban on the import of most steam products, users have started storing e-cigarettes.

Since its announcement, New Zealand e-cigarette consumable retailer Shosha has recorded a 130% surge in sales from Australia. Shosha's traffic also increased by 44% over the same period last year.

5. The local e-cigarette industry is hit hard

Jay Karanough, the owner of the e-cigarette store, said he will fire all 10 employees. Last year, he spent thousands of dollars establishing an import company in New Zealand.

He said that there were no consultations or warnings.

Chris Monchgesang, chief operating officer of e-cigarette distributor Vape Traders, said the new regulations were catastrophic.

Savvas Dimitriou, a board member of e-cigarette retailer group ARVIA, said the results were devastating.

He said that unless we can fight in court and change our minds, this will be the long-term end of the industry.

6. The refrigerators of some Australian home appliance distributors have been sold out

In addition to a large number of users ordering e-cigarettes from neighboring New Zealand, some local users have sold out refrigerators.

In the week since the July 1 ban was announced, panic users tried to store nicotine and ordered large quantities of nicotine from distributors in other countries.

At the same time, refrigerators of some Australian home appliance distributors have been sold out.

If you buy e-cigarette oil, you also need to buy a refrigerator for storage.

Minister of Health explains the reason for withdrawal: Some people use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking

In a statement to withdraw the ban, the Minister of Health said that because Australian medical experts believe that it is hazardous to health, all states and territories prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes containing vaporized nicotine, which includes strong evidence that the first time e-cigarettes will be smoked Introduce nicotine addiction.

He said the ban was a response to medical advice, ensuring that only nicotine-based e-cigarettes can be imported based on doctors’ prescriptions.

However, he also stated that there are another group of people who use these e-cigarettes together with nicotine to quit smoking.

The statement said:

To help this group continue to eliminate this addiction, we will establish a simplified process for patients to obtain prescriptions through their GPs and provide more time to implement this change. This will give patients time to talk to a general practitioner to discuss the best way to quit smoking, such as using other products, including patches or sprays, and will still be able to get a prescription if they still need it.

Therefore, the ban will be extended for six months to January 1, 2021.

After the withdrawal of the ban, the parties reacted:

1. Member: We have 6 months to build a system

Liberal MP James Patterson told the Guardian on Friday that six months gave us time to build a system to ensure that anyone who needed these safer alternatives could get it.

Although the ban has not been completely lifted, but within six months, there can be more reasonable discussions.

2. E-cigarette groups and advocates welcome the delay

Representatives of Australian organizations advocating the legalization of e-cigarettes today celebrated the decision with Free Senator Holly Hughes on Facebook, but said the sudden decision to implement the ban may prompt people to use e-cigarettes instead of smoking.

Vaping Australia spokesman Emilie Dye said that federal policymakers heard the voices of e-cigarette users, causing the health minister to postpone the deadly policy. We now have the opportunity to fight for the legalization and supervision of the atomization of nicotine in Australia.

Australia is not alone, Hong Kong also withdrew the e-cigarette ban bill

Among the major countries, only Australia and India have completely banned the sale of nicotine atomized products. Most countries and regions regulate the sales and manufacture of electronic cigarettes, and the UK even encourages smokers to use electronic cigarettes.

The latest news is also worthy of reference.

On June 11, the Hong Kong Legislative Council announced its abandonment of plans to ban the use of electronic atomization products, at least for now. Since the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s speech 19 months ago, e-cigarette and harm reduction advocates have been fighting the proposed ban.

The Legislative Council Bills Committee finally concluded the discussion on the bill banning electronic cigarettes and heating tobacco products.

According to the Manila Standard, the committee has been studying the bill since March 2019, holding six meetings and three public hearings.

Some Legislative Council members of the committee strongly opposed the ban on the grounds that it was unfair to refuse to provide smokers with low-risk nicotine products.

Eventually, the bill discussion was cancelled, but Hong Kong said it would restart its plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes in Hong Kong after the legislative elections held in September.

WHO: Under reasonable control, e-cigarettes can improve public health

On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) e-cigarette theme report showed that for adult smokers, switching to e-cigarettes can effectively reduce health risks. At the same time, national regulatory authorities should focus on preventing the use of e-cigarettes by young people. It is recommended that the supervisory layer should fully consider the interests of all parties and find a balance of supervision.

The report concluded that WHO, NASEM, and CDC (CDC) have realized the potential of e-cigarettes to improve the public health environment.

The key is the reasonable government control of e-cigarettes. The goal is to minimize the negative effects of the tobacco epidemic and continue to bring positive effects to public health. At the same time, non-smokers, especially young people, should be avoided from exposure to nicotine, and the interests of smokers should be fully considered to find a balance of supervision.

The report also specifically pointed out that in any context, if the government implements a strong tobacco control policy to reduce or even completely block the opportunities for e-cigarette users to switch to cigarettes, then the government's long-term tobacco control vision will also benefit.

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