What are the vaping laws in Australia? – Crime

Do you vape?

If so, you need to know about the changes in the law around
vaping and e-cigarettes in Australia.

Today, we take a closer look at the recent changes to vaping
laws in Australia.

In recent times, our government changed the vaping laws in
Australia. Firstly, the Australian government became more strict
about where you can vape. Also, laws around the importation of
disposable and non-therapeutic vapes have been prohibited.

What are e-cigarettes and vapes?

Basically, e-cigarettes and vapes are gadgets with batteries
that warm up a liquid. This is called e-liquid. Vapes then make a
mist that you breathe in.

Vapes can vary in how they look. Some look like pens, USB
sticks, or highlighters. The mist they produce doesn’t usually
smell strong. However, it might have a sweet scent and flavour. Due
to the nice smell and taste, compared to traditional cigarettes,
vaping is popular among first-time nicotine users.

Vaping is becoming more popular among Australians

Vaping is indeed becoming more common in Australia, especially
among 16-24 year olds. Additionally, the regular use has doubled
from 4.5% to 11% recently. In NSW, vaping is
highest among this age group.

  • 32% tried it at least once and,

  • 11% used it daily/occasionally.

A study by Cancer Council NSW found that
one-third of teenagers in NSW have vaped. Plus, it’s easy for
them to get vapes illegally through friends, retail stores, online
shops, and social media.

E-cigarettes and vapes are addicting young people to nicotine.
This increases the risk of them starting to smoke. Many vapes
contain nicotine, even if not labeled. Also, these products expose
vapers to more than 100 harmful chemicals also found in weed killer
and nail polish.

Research shows that vaping is harmful and linked to an increased
chance of young people taking up smoking. The health impacts
include poisoning, seizures, burns, and lung disease.

Do the rules about smoke-free places apply to using
e-cigarettes and vaping?

According to the Smoke-free Environment Act
using e-cigarettes and vapes is not allowed
in areas where smoking is banned
. For example, enclosed
public places and certain outdoor public areas. See more below.

Health inspectors from NSW regularly check if people are
following these rules.

South Australia cracks down on vaping laws

South Australia has also introduced a “smoke-free and
vape-free” programme. The new regulations have sparked a

Vaping is often described as a less harmful alternative to
traditional cigarettes. However, this logic has come under
scrutiny. The Australian Drug Foundation said
vaping is risky. Furthermore, they are researching vaping to fully
understand its long-term effects.

A main driving force behind the recent changes in South
Australia is the desire to create smoke-free spaces.
The Adelaide Now article highlights the importance of
understanding the implications of these changes. Smoke-free areas
help protect the public from the harmful effects of both
traditional smoking and vaping.

Vape-free South Australia

However, the push for a vape-free South Australia doesn’t
mean a blanket ban on vaping. Instead, the focus is on regulating
the use of these products in specific areas. If you do vape in one
of these areas in South Australia, you can receive a fine. For
example, an on-the-spot fine of $105 and prosecution up to $750 for
people vaping in a vape-free zone.

The new regulations also come at a time when there’s a
growing concern about the increasing popularity of vaping among
young people. The Australian Drug Foundation highlights that we
need ways to prevent vaping becoming normal for teenagers. Stricter
laws can help limit the visibility and accessibility of vaping

Vaping in public spaces

You can’t vape in outdoor dining areas, public transport
stops, and in playgrounds. By creating these vape-free spaces,
authorities want to strike a balance between individual choices and
public health.

The debate around vaping often asks if it actually helps you
stop smoking. Some argue that it can serve as a useful aid.
However, others worry over the lack of solid evidence for this.

The banning of single use vapes

As of January, 2024, the
importation of disposable vapes became illegal. Therefore,
regardless of their nicotine quantity, shops will not be able to
sell disposable vapes. Additionally, consumers will not be able to
order vapes from overseas. Some exceptions to this rule will apply.
For example, travellers arriving to Australia with small quantities
of vapes.

However, as of March 2024, the government is
banning the importation of all non-therapeutic vapes into
Australia. These new laws hope to help prevent nicotine use.
However, it is important to note that these new vaping laws will
not criminalise vapers. Basically, the Australian government is not
going to criminalise personal possession and the use of vapes.
These laws are going to focus on retailers and the importation of

Changes to the laws around vaping in Australia

Designated smoke-free zones in NSW include:

  • Enclosed public spaces

  • Outdoor public spaces, including:

a. Within a 10-meters of children’s play outdoor

b. Public swimming pools,

c. Spectator areas at sports grounds,

d. Public transport stops and platforms,

e. Within 4 meters of a pedestrian access point to a public

f. Commercial outdoor dining areas,

g. Inside a vehicle with a child under 16 years of age

Important: Not smoking outside
a public building is important to note. This is because many people
leave a bar or nightclub to go outside to vape. Now, they need to
be 4 metres from the access point.

Selling vapes laws in NSW

Without approval from the NSW Ministry of Health, it’s
against the law to sell or use e-cigarettes and e-liquids with
nicotine. Several regulations also apply in NSW. These include:

  • a ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors under 18,

  • advertising and in-store promotions for e-cigarettes,

  • using e-cigarettes in cars with minors under 16,

  • requiring businesses selling e-cigarettes to register with the
    NSW Ministry of Health,

  • additionally, using e-cigarettes in areas where smoking tobacco
    is prohibited.

In summary, smoking normal cigarettes is also not allowed

  • workplaces,

  • public transport,

  • restaurants,

  • and near children’s play areas.

Understanding vaping laws in Australia

It is very important to know about the vaping laws in Australia.
For residents and visitors alike, understanding the designated
vape-free zones is essential to avoid breaking the law.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *