The Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has stated that the government must work with the retail industry to tackle the vape black market.
In May this year, Health Minister Mark Butler announced the government’s plans to ban recreational vaping and restrict sales of nicotine vaping products to pharmacies only, but little progress has been seen since.
Theo Foukkare, CEO of AACS, said that if it was practical, sensible policy, there would be measures in place and action could be taken by now to tackle the illegal vaping crisis.
“Instead, politicians are going to another meeting, and it is obvious there is no clear plan or timings for action.
“The Minister said earlier this week that he was working ‘furiously’ on the vaping plans with the states. But he also let slip that they’ve realised this is more complex than they thought. Mr Butler’s grand pronouncements are now being tested by reality.”
AACS has long maintained that the only practical solution to the vaping black market is strictly regulated sales to adults via responsible licensed retailers.
“The Health Minister should be consulting with and listening to the people who have practical experience in dealing with the sale of regulated mass-market consumer products – and that is compliant retailers.”
The Federal and State Health Ministers’ Working Group met this week, and prior to that meeting Minister Butler told ABC RN Breakfast that they still don’t have a timeframe.
“What we’ve really been working through is whether we’re going to be able to deal with this through one piece of Commonwealth legislation, which would be preferred, or whether every single parliament in the country is going to have to enact effectively mirroring legislation which will be, difficult, complex and probably take some time,” said Butler.