Unfortunately, the day has come - The Australian borders will close from 1st July 2020.
For the last few years, we fought day and night to have the vape market in Australia opened. I travelled many times to Australia and even spoke in parliament houses, I made contact with as many people as I could including politicians, researchers, Universities, industry stakeholders and more.
Recently we saw increasing tension in the political parties and unfortunately, they have now passed the policing of nicotine vape products into the hands of Customs. Customs are paid to prosecute, so they are motivated to seize any products that they legally can.
So what does that mean? It means that nicotine will no longer be able to pass over the border into Australia, whether you have a prescription or not. They have closed all possible loopholes by threatening huge fines to the person importing the products - up to $222,000 (that's right - two hundred and twenty-two THOUSAND dollars). So please don’t try to slide under the radar.
Prescriptions do not hold any weight, to import you need to have a Chemist import the product (but get this - Chemists are not allowed to import products of this type), or a Doctor. The problem being, they have made the paperwork process so arduous that there is no benefit for a Doctor to apply. Every import needs its own application, and that application can be denied after the Doctor has spent the time requesting it… So they’re not going to do it, and even if they did, they might get a couple a day through.
The prohibition is set to last for 12 months, at which stage the TGA will review the data and make a decision on whether they open the boarders back up - or keep them closed.
This hits home for me too. I have family there who ALL smoked, now they all vape… Vaped… They will be back to smoking. I have many friends there who smoked, then vaped, now guess what…
I am so sorry. We really did try. Not just me - there are many people who worked just as hard as I did. Sadly it’s all fallen on deaf ears and blinded vision. We’ve lost.
We have 12 months to work on this. We have 12 months to show the gatekeepers that these products are NOT the menace that they’re made out to be. We will show them all the things that we as vapers already know. Vaping works. Vaping saves. Vaping is just better. I will continue to work, as will many others just like me. But we all need to work as one. We need 1 voice.
Please visit https://www.athra.org.au/become-a-supporter/ and sign up, so YOUR voice can be heard. ATHRA is led by Dr Colin Mendelsohn in Sydney. You might not agree with 100% of everything that an organisation puts out, but we can all agree on the intended outcome. Please join and be heard. There IS power in numbers.
I genuinely hope to be emailing you again soon with some better news. It’s a long hard battle, but that’s the job I took on when I decided to enter this line of work. I hope you find a solution in the meantime.
Stay safe, stay healthy
NZVAPOR / NZ Vaping Alliance