Rampant growth in Victoria’s illicit vaping black market

Theo Foukkare, CEO Australian Association of Convenience Store

According to Roy Morgan there are now 285,000 adult vapers in Victoria with CMA research revealing 88% of all nicotine e-cigarette purchases are being made illegally without a prescription.

Australia’s vaping policy has clearly failed. Since the introduction of the prescription model on October 1, 2021, the unregulated illicit black market for e-cigarettes has boomed with widespread reporting of black-market operators profiteering from the sale of illicit e-cigarettes to children.

The Roy Morgan data, based on monthly nationwide surveys of 4,500 adults shows Victoria has seen growth in adult vaping of nearly 200% since the 12 months to June 2018.

The demand for e-cigarettes from adult smokers is overwhelming, yet current policy settings are forcing vapers to purchase unregulated products with no electrical safety or ingredient standards from the black market. It is clear compliance with the prescription model is unenforceable as it applies to adult vapers due to the severely constrained legal accessibility for adults.

New Zealand, the European Union and the United Kingdom have successfully dealt with this issue by making e-cigarettes a strictly regulated and controlled consumer product sold to adults upon age identification by lawful retailers.

A likeminded approach in Australia would allow legal regulated access to adults while cutting off the incentive of black market operators who are currently exploiting the demand for e-cigarettes by illegally selling unregulated products to whoever they want, including children.

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.