If you needed a kick in the pants to give up vaping for good, the State Government just delivered one.
During a blitz on illegal nicotine sales, SA Health officials have seized around 5,000 vapes and fined 12 businesses – including one sneaky retailer using empty pizza boxes to hide their e-cigarettes.
With 207 inspections on 180 businesses across Adelaide, this was a serious eight-week government crackdown on the vaping black market during July and August.
Nearly 5,000 vapes from 15 sellers were seized. All were tested, and most contained nicotine, worth an estimated street value of more than $113,000. One business alone was caught with a whopping 2,013 illegal vapes.
With six shops in the CBD among those busted for unlicensed vape sales, it’s now going to be a whole lot harder for South Aussies to get a dodgy nicotine fix during their next big night out.
That’s good news for South Australian lungs, because some brands of the vapes seized contained some really scary ingredients, including one brand that had the equivalent of at least three cigarette packs of nicotine in each vape – no one wants to deal with how bad they’d feel the morning after inhaling one of those bad boys.
The SA Health Authorised Officers even found one vape obviously aimed at children, shaped like a sippy cup with the straw acting as the mouthpiece.
Follow-up inspections were carried out on 13 of the businesses busted for selling illegal vapes and all except one are now doing the right thing, with no nicotine vaping products found on their premises.
The current laws for vaping
The blitz coincided with tough new licence conditions that make clear selling nicotine e-cigarettes is illegal in South Australia.
The new conditions are an interim measure, until the Federal Government enacts planned laws to ban recreational vaping altogether. You can read the details of the new laws here.
It’s already illegal to sell vapes to anyone under 18, however two thirds of Australians aged 13 to 19 have tried vaping, according to the Cancer Council. The new laws are aimed at protecting young people against nicotine addiction and its health effects.
But for those struggling with a nicotine addiction there is help available. For information and support to quit smoking visit the Be Smoke Free website or call Quitline on 13 78 48.
Another reason to quit
If you need an extra reason to quit those fun-flavoured vapes, just remember that they’re not necessarily a healthier alternative to smoking old-school ciggies – they are really, really bad for your health.
Vapes can cause asthma, lung infections and heart disease in the short-term. The long-term effects are still unknown. You can read all the medical lowdown on what vaping does to you here.
And if you need to know you’re not alone on your journey to a nicotine-free life, young South Aussies share their stories of quitting vapes here.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the vaping discussion, listen to the Hot Topics Podcast where we talk about vaping bans in Australia.