Online sales to South Australian vapers banned from today
Posted on October 1, 2019
From today, 1 October 2019, online sales of vaping products are banned to South Australian vapers. Local and interstate vendors will face stiff fines for selling even a single strand of cotton to a customer in South Australia.
The negative impact of this regressive legislation is hard to overstate. Businesses will close or move, causing hundreds of job losses and millions of dollars of lost revenue for South Australia. Life-saving vaping products will be harder to access and many vapers will be condemned to returning to deadly tobacco smoking.
Worst affected will be customers living in rural and regional areas with no access to brick and mortar vape stores, and people with disability or mobility problems - effectively now been banned from vaping.
Not surprisingly, this legislation has created a lot of confusion among vapers all across the country. Here are some common questions we’ve been hearing.
Can I still buy from brick and mortar stores?
Yes. Brick and mortar vape shops will be able to continue making face-to-face sales for the time being. However other vaping restrictions will continue, such as a bans on displaying products in-store, special offers and tasting test juices in-store.
Can South Australians buy from online stores interstate?
No. Interstate companies are still subject to the South Australian law and are committing an offence if they sell a product to a South Australian customer.
How about overseas vendors?
Maybe. It is illegal for international companies to sell to South Australian customers as they are required to follow the local laws of any country they operate in. However, the South Australian government has limited ability to actually pursue international vendors and it’s likely that the vast majority will continue selling to customers in South Australia.
Can South Australian customers get into trouble if they buy from interstate or overseas?
No. The law imposes penalties on vendors who sell to South Australian customers, but does not impose penalties on South Australian customers who attempt (successfully or otherwise) to order vaping products.
Can I buy something for my friend in South Australia and be reimbursed later?
No. The act of accepting money in exchange for vaping products makes you liable under the law in South Australia.
How can we prevent this from occurring in other states?
This is a wake-up call to every vaper in the country. Governments can and will restrict our right to vape if we don’t stand up and make our objections known. There are hundreds of thousands of vapers in Australia, all of whom vote. That’s a lot of power, if we’re willing to use it.
So use it. Write a letter to every MP in your state and let them know how vaping has changed your life. Express your concern that your rights are being eroded. Ask to meet in personal with your local MP at their earliest convenience. Be firm, polite, and persistent — if you don’t get a reply, or if your MP says they’re too busy to meet you, ask again. Remember, they work for you, not the other way round.
There are a lot of great resources available to help you connect with politicians and make your voice heard. Legalise Vaping Australia have made a handy web form you can use to email your local MP here.
The government also publishes a list of all Senators and federal MPs, along with their mailing and email addresses here.
Don’t wait for someone else to do all the work. Take ten minutes out of your day — just ten minutes! — to look up your local MP and write them a letter. It’s incumbent on every single one of us to shout our message from the rooftops: we vape, we vote, and we’re not going to take it any more.
Author: Savvas Dimitriou, Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research (AVATAR)