Health officials in Australia are demanding a crackdown on vaping sales violators with stricter laws and stiffer penalties due to a surge in illegal vape importers, vendors and advertisers.
Australian shop keepers that have sold outlawed nicotine vapes have been fined more than $730,000 in the last 13 months, up $110,000 from the previous year, according to the Daily Mail.
New data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration shows the continuous sale of illegal e-cigarettes is taking a massive toll on health budgets. However, fighting the black market trade is a major expense as the suspected illegal e-cigarettes have to undergo laboratory testing to find traces of nicotine.
Australia took action against the growing epidemic by outlawing nicotine vapes in Oct. 2021, but the products have remained readily available on the black market.