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South Australia introduces draconian vaping laws

Posted on October 26, 2018

South Australia is taking anti-vaping policy to a new level. The Tobacco Products Regulation (E-cigarettes and Review) Amendment Bill 2018 was passed in Parliament on 16 November 2018 and deliver the harshest regulations in Australia. The new laws protects the tobacco industry from competition and make it even harder for smokers to transition to vaping, a much less harmful alternative.

Smokers in South Australia are already struggling to quit. Smoking rates have not changed since 2012 when 16.7% of SA adults smoked, according to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. In fact, adult smoking rates INCREASED 1.6% from 14.9% to 16.5% from 2016 to 2017.

You would think the SA parliament would be doing everything it can to help smokers quit. Instead, SA is attempting to destroy the vaping industry and make it harder for smokers to access safer products.

Ban of online, email, phone and mail orders

South Australia will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban the sale of vaping products ordered online, by mail, phone, email or fax.

Two thirds of industry sales within South Australia are online according to Australia's vape advocacy peak body, Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research (AVATAR). More than half of all vendors based in South Australia do not operate a physical retail store and rely entirely on online sales.

It is hard to see how this could have any possible benefit for public health. Instead of ordering from the website of their local vape businesses, customers will be forced to purchase supplies interstate or internationally from unknown sources. Disabled, elderly and rural customers who lack mobility or access to a physical store would be at a major disadvantage.

Moreover, this law is unenforceable. The SA government plans to prosecute vendors selling products online to South Australians. Good luck with that!

Decimation of the SA vape industry

The new legislation will lead to substantial job losses, closure of businesses and loss of government revenue.

Vape shops are essentially privately-funded stop-smoking services. Research has shown that vape shops help smokers quit. Weakening this service will cost lives.

South Australia has the highest concentration of vape businesses in Australia, with over 85 vendors. Many businesses will close and others are planning to leave the state in order to continue to trade profitably.

According to AVATAR, the industry employs almost 200 people. Many jobs will be lost in the vaping and related industries.

Online retail sales in South Australia are worth roughly $60 million per year and contribute tens of millions of dollars to the SA economy. Government revenue will be slashed.

It is almost certain that an uncontrolled black market will step in to fill the gaps.

Harsh in-store restrictions

The new legislation forbids in-store vaping and taste testing. This will undermine the successful transition from smoking to vaping.

Most smokers go through a process of trying different devices, flavours, nicotine strengths etc before finding the combination that works best for them. In-store testing and advice from staff is an important part of learning to vape and selecting the right product.

There is no public health justification for banning in-store vaping. Vaping in vape shops has been found to create minimal levels of ambient chemicals. A study in a vape shop where employees and customers vaped, by the US Department of Health and Human Services found that:

'Concentrations of vaping-related chemicals in our air samples were below occupational exposure limits'

Public Health England and the UK Royal College of Physicians have both determined that the health risk from secondhand vapour is negligible. In any case, vape shops are clearly marked so people wanting to avoid exposure need not enter.

The new laws will take effect in 6 months, in mid-May 2019.

For more

New e-cigarette laws burn growth industry. The Australian 29 October 2018
South Australia To Ban All Online Sales and Taste Testing. Vapetrotter news. 29 October 2018

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17 Replies to “South Australia introduces draconian vaping laws”


As a smoker for over 30 years who found it hard to quit as I thoroughly enjoyed it I welcomed being able to transition to becoming part of the vaping community. Since giving away the cigarettes I feel much better in myself and my health is a lot better also. It is utterly appalling that the Federal Government and the TGA have not invested money into research to allow the people the personal choice of moving to a lesser dangerous form of inhaling nicotine. In my opinion this decision has nothing to do with peoples health or how vaping maybe safe or unsafe it all comes down to revenue. The Tobacco industry yields the government billions per year and here alone in SA has seen the rise of a packet of cigarettes to around $60. I for one was spending well over $200 per week compared to my $6 for a bottle of vape liquid. The billions raised are supposedly used for Quit smoking campaigns but really making the decision of banning online vaping purchases seems a bit hypocritical. Use the funds raised from the absorbent prices of cigarettes to research vaping do not just dismiss it because of the unknown. Again this is all to do with revenue as what the government makes from Australian smokers compared to those in the vaping community is a huge loss to them. The Government does not care about us they only care about where their next lot of billions are coming from. It is forcing vaper's back in to smoking and again raising the revenue. It's a vicious cycle.

Mark Danzic

Well said Tammy
Your onto it


Unbelievable this Government needs to go . The amount of people that have given up smoking cigs is well documented and shows that many have quit smokes and vaping due to vape this can only be seen as a hand up for big tobacco companies and nothing else.

liz schroder

do these pencil neck geeks get funding from the tobacco companies? It seems like they dont wont people to stop smoking cigarettes, they only wont people to keep pay tax on cigarettes


We no longer have a democratic society in South Australia nor in Australia. It is plain we live in a dictatorship. I am disgusted with this new law and its easy to see the government is missing out on the revenue from cigs by various taxes and excise. This is the reason for the changes. If they are using the pretence that its to help people well that is just a lie.

Ben Grotegoed

Idiots, wowsers, what are they thinking! I've been vaping for near on 5 years and have never felt better since giving away the dreaded tobacco. Can't believe Labour is supporting this crap. I'm handing in my membership!

Wayne O'Brien

The south Australian government is always behind the times with everything compared to interstate


It is so unfair that Vaping stores will be closed in South Australia and we will be unable to buy vaping products online. This is the only way I could manage to give up smoking after 40 years by using E cigarette. It sounds like greedy government would rather see smokers die than lose their taxes form cigarettes. Discusting !


This gov is so dodgy… Obviously alot of corruption is going on! They can't keep it under wraps forever.. There's always one with loose lips.. Proud vaper.. Who will keep on vaping! Got me off the smokes.. Now I can't stand them.. Obviously the gov is going by the book.. Governing sa for dummies 🙄


Government is either a moron or they want us to keep smoking so they can collect taxes.
Vaping has allowed me to quit smoking after 20 years of addiction to these disgusting things.
I’m now on a path of better health and taking control of my life, and this has given me hope that I will be free from tobacco products forever. I will succeed in this journey, even if it means breaking the law, because my life matters!


All these stupid laws makes me wanna move state. South Australia is just a waste land.

Edward Fraser

Hi I am 72 years old I started smoking at 11 years old a packet of 10 cork tipped cigs a day graduating to 3 x 50 gram pouches of (White Ox ) tobacco for the last ten year . In the last 20 year I have tried all the nicotine patches and other associated useless items which are over priced . Exactly 53 days ago I took up vaping and have not looked back since . My health has improved greatly .
We have got to beat this legislation get rid of it .

P.S if the Government were serious the nicotine patches and other associated drugs would be free sounds like another tax grab down the track to me .

David Millar

I started a petition for what it may be worth.

Please sign and share!

Mark Danzic

We fully agree with all you have stated.My wife and I have been vaping for 5.5 years.We will never smoke again.This new legislation serves no purpose since it was derived to stop underage people from forming smoking habits from buying online.There is no evidence of that occurring I would believe.A youth can walk into a supermarket and buy a NRT off shelf with nicotine and yet a vape store cannot sell online non nicotine products.Ridiculous I say.A minor can purchase nicotine because its supported by the TGA at a store and its a regulated product (like cigarettes) and consume it .Is this madness.

Lawson Brown

SA you are officially a joke with this legislation. Went to vaping 2 years ago and never felt better as did my wife. Am 68 and smoked since I was 14. Tried patches and other methods but do not work for me. Have gradually been reducing nicotine strength in my vape. Have been buying from an Sa vape store since I left the state. So I will just go to another state.


Actions like this prove the government is not interested in the population quitting smoking, they're interested in the revenue generated from the extortionate tax rates with smoking,


I've been told I cant purchase interstate either is this correct? can I still purchase overseas?

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