A man in possession of more than 1230 nicotine vape pens has been charged under new NSW laws which came into effect last month.
The new laws, which have been in place since October 1, made the sale of nicotine vapes illegal in NSW and young adults are feeling attacked.
More specifically, the new legislation outlawed the distribution of any product administering nicotine that wasn’t cigarettes or smoking cessation aids (i.e patches, gum etc.).
The man was arrested in south west NSW, where police obtained over 1230 vape pens with an approximated street value of $55000, or $44 per vape.
The 28-year-old man, who faces two charges of restricted substances sold by a non-wholesaler, has been ordered to attend Griffith Local Court on January 19.
This is the first announcement since the new laws came into effect, made by NSW police indicating an arrest.
Our advice on e-cigarettes remains unchanged – vaping isn’t completely risk free but is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping https://t.co/UFIQdCY0ry
— UK Health Security Agency (@UKHSA) September 12, 2019
This may come as a shock considering the previously bountiful supply of nicotine vapes, though the new crackdowns, and the proposed punishments that behold them, are harsh.
Since October 1, the illegal supply of nicotine carries a maximum penalty of $1650 or six months in prison or both.
Furthermore, enforcement and policing is said to be on the rise. In a statement, NSW health has said that it has a “strong e-cigarette compliance and enforcement program” and has “increased the number of inspectors with powers to seize e-cigarettes.”
It's now illegal to vape without a prescription. Dr Alex Wodak explains why this is an issue.
— Legalise Vaping Australia (@LegaliseVaping) November 27, 2021
It would seem the latest impositions by NSW Health and NSW Police come from suspicion and uncertainty about the long term impacts of nicotine vapes. However, given their choice to only ban vapes whilst leaving cigarettes unscathed, it seems like a clear attack on NSW’s younger age brackets and people trying to quit cigarettes, who, after all, are the state’s primary vape users.
With the severity of these vape distribution penalties and the doggedness of NSW health’s policing statement, we’d suggest being careful when picking up your electronic vices.