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Michael Johnsen MP’s campaign to make nicotine vaping liquid a consumer product in NSW

Posted on November 1, 2020

MICHAEL JOHNSEN, Member for the Upper Hunter in the NSW Parliament is putting public health ahead of politics and is campaigning to make nicotine for vaping available as a consumer product in NSW.

A heavy smokers of 40 years, he was increasingly frustrated at his addiction and the difficulty of staying smoke-free. However he has been smoke-free for over a year since he discovered vaping and feels fantastic.

He wants other smokers to have the same opportunity

His tells his story in this video (4 mins)

Pioneering legislation for NSW

Michael is currently drafting legislation to make nicotine a consumer product as a quitting aid for adult smokers in NSW. Under federal regulations, nicotine is classified as a “dangerous poison” in the Poisons Standard and requires a prescription to use legally. However, deadly tobacco cigarettes remain freely available.

Low concentrations of nicotine for vaping are relatively  benign and should be classified as a consumer product as it is in all other western democracies. Each state can override the federal regulations and Michael Johnsen wants NSW to be the first state to do so.

Michael’s submission to the Senate Inquiry

In his submission to the Senate Inquiry, he argues that we should "make public access to these products simpler, not harder”.

These products should be made “as widely available as tobacco products – and without a prescription”

He also argues for appropriate controls to protect public safety, such as product standards, banning marketing to children, training of retailers and safe storage. ATHRA strongly agrees and has prepared a comprehensive Discussion Paper on the regulation of e-liquids for vaping in Australia.

Sign his petition

Michael has prepared a campaign website and a petition for NSW Parliament to change the laws to make nicotine a consumer product and to support a domestic vaping manufacturing industry in NSW. The petition is available here and we encourage all Australian vapers to sign it.

His campaign

  1. Recognises the overwhelming evidence that vaping is a proven method for smoking cessation, and is far safer alternative to smoking cigarettes
  2. Aims to amend the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods (Poisons List) Proclamation 2016 to exclude nicotine from the Poisons List when used in the preparation of vaping and e-cigarette products
  3. Supports a domestic vaping manufacturing industry in NSW, ensuring products are produced and sold at the highest possible safety standards
  4. Revenue generated by the legalisation of vaping be directed to a new regional health fund

Michael is to be commended for his evidence-based approach to policy making and for having the courage to resist the anti-vaping narrative which dominates public health in Australia

We hope other states will follow his shining example, which is certain to save many lives.

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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5 Replies to “Michael Johnsen MP’s campaign to make nicotine vaping liquid a consumer product in NSW”


Fantastic. The problem is those who understand the science or who have been in the situation aren't the ones making the rules.

With the enquiry and an MP ex-smoker coupled with the noble doctors at athra we have a glimmer of hope.


Ros Oliver

Well done I was a smoker for 30 years tried patches tablets gum sprays cold turkey nothing worked until I found Vaping Gove up the smokes in 1 week now I can watch my grandchildren grow up
I've Been happily Vaping for 3 years now and I'd like to continue

Jonathan Hurlstone

100% agree

neil stickler

Agree entirely.
Another thing that I never see mentioned is that the criminal element in Australia must be rubbing their hands with glee. Banning nicotine vaping will, or maybe already has, opened up a brand new black market which I'm sure they will utilise and make stacks of tax free money!!


Stop comparing them to tobacco. They are a product that will harm our young people, even as young as 10 seen to vape.

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