AACS is encouraging people to have their say on vaping laws

A message from the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS).

Since October last year, the only way Australian adults have been able to buy nicotine vaping products legally has been through a convoluted prescription scheme – putting pressure on GPs and pharmacies alike.
Not only has this Government regulation failed everyday Australians, but it has inadvertently created a booming black market. This black market is capitalising and preying on Australia’s youth, and making a mockery of genuine, responsible retailers across the country.
Our industry is experiencing significant declines in foot traffic and loss of incidental purchases as over a million Australian adult vapers are choosing not to shop in legitimate retail businesses so they can purchase illicit vaping products from the black market.
This substantial loss of revenue is compounding an already challenging trading environment due to the severe cost of goods inflation, labour shortages and rapidly increasing operating expenses. Because of these unworkable laws, convenience stores across Australia are being forced into a position to cut staff, run empty shelves, or close their doors.
For decades we have been trusted to safely sell legal tobacco products. But sadly, we are not recognised by the Government to sell nicotine vaping products to adult Australian consumers.
The regulations governing the sale of nicotine vaping products are under review, with consultation open until 16 January 2023.

The Health Minister, Mark Butler, says “everything is on the table”. We now have the chance to speak directly to the Canberra politicians responsible for the failing prescription model. We can get involved by making submissions and providing our views in the Government’s consultation process.
Together, we can overhaul the system which has created the black market that has been so deeply detrimental to responsible retailers like you.
There are 2 ways that you can make a submission:

Prepare yourself with guidance information for inclusions below

Use an AACS Partner website that you can complete in five minutes.


You can also use make a submission through the following website that simplifies the submission process and allows you to copy your entry to your local Australian MP and the Health Minister – https://tga.legalisevaping.com.au/.


To prepare a submission and write yourself with some guidance information below, follow these steps:

  • Write your submission in a Word Document
  • Go to the TGA consultation page and answer questions 1-10.
  • At Q11, select “Yes” and skip to Q29.
  • Upload your document at Q29. 

While you may like to write your own submission, we have included some points below:

  • The current prescription-only model requires consumers to have a prescription for all purchases of nicotine vaping products, requiring a GP visit and restricting sales to pharmacies.
  • These hurdles in obtaining vapes, particularly for people who want to quit smoking, have led to the emergence of a large-scale black market.
  • Illicit operators sell to willing adults but also target young people and children through social media. This cannot be allowed to continue.
  • Australia needs to look at other successful regulatory models in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. A new model could permit adults to buy regulated vapes with strict electrical safety and ingredient standards from responsible retailers upon age identification. 
  • Rather than fuelling an illegal black market trade in unregulated vaping products, adults should be able to purchase these products from responsible, legitimate retailers – who have safely retailed other nicotine products for decades.
  • This model would support informed product choice by consumers and reduce the ability for criminals to profit from this failed policy through the growing black market which targets children, bypasses the tax system and funds other criminal activity.
  • AACS supports a Responsible Retailer Code, to demonstrate how retailers can fulfil a crucial role in ensuring vapes are not being sold to underage Australians.
  • Allowing retailers to sell vaping products would benefit both business owners and the Australian Government.  Once GST, import taxes and corporate taxes are applied to the products this revenue would contribute to the funding of schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other important government initiatives.

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