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Unlawful sale & advertising of vapes

The TGA has issued 18 infringement notices totalling $157,752 to Kilpatrick & Douglas and two directors, for the alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vapes on their websites.

Six infringement notices totalling $112,680 were issued to the company, and 6 notices to each of the directors, totalling $45,072.

Nicotine vapes are prescription-only medicines which cannot be advertised to the public. It is a breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 for which serious penalties can apply including fines and civil or criminal court action.

These infringement notices follow similar TGA action where $588,840 in fines were issued to a group of companies for the alleged unlawful import of nicotine vapes that contained prohibited ingredients and did not comply with the relevant standard.

The Australian Government has announced reforms to progressively ban all vapes within Australia in 2024, unless they are therapeutic vapes that comply with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. 

Stronger controls on the importation, domestic manufacture, supply, advertising and commercial possession of therapeutic vapes will be implemented. Therapeutic vapes will only be available from people authorised to supply prescription medicines under state and territory laws, such as in pharmacies, and must meet new product standards, amongst other requirements.

The first stage of the reforms commenced on 1 January 2024, which prohibits the import of disposable vapes, subject to very limited exceptions. The ban applies to disposable vapes irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims. Further changes to the regulation of vapes, including domestic supply, will take place over 2024.

A new multi-agency National Vaping Working Group has been established to oversee development and implementation of the national enforcement framework, providing an integrated and coordinated approach across all levels of government.

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