The effectiveness of Australia’s vaping laws is being thrown into question with data showing illicit nicotine is making its way into retail stores, according to a story by Flint Duxfield for mobile.abc.net.au.
Data from the New South Wales Department of Health suggests people could be unwittingly buying e-liquids containing nicotine, even though it is illegal to sell such liquids in Australia.
In testing conducted since 2015, the Department found that 63 percent of e-liquids labeled as nicotine-free contained nicotine.
The Department was unable to provide a breakdown of the concentrations of the nicotine, but of the testing it conducted of all e-liquids, about half contained between 3 mg/ml and 20 mg/ml. [20 mg/ml is the maximum strength allowed under the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive]
While it is legal to buy liquid nicotine from overseas for personal use in all states except Queensland, the sale of e-liquids containing nicotine is illegal across Australia.
However, official figures show that NSW retailers stock nicotine-containing e-liquids.
From November 2015 to April 2018, NSW health inspectors visited 227 retailers selling e-liquids. More than 40 per cent of those retailers were found to be selling products that contained nicotine.
Of the other state health departments contacted, Western Australia’s agreed that e-liquid labeling was an issue but could not provide any details.