Two More HUGE Increases in Cigarette Prices for Australia

South Australia could be the first state to ban online sales of e-cigarettes in a move that threatens to decimate the industry.

Both houses of the South Australian Parliament passed amendments to the Tobacco Products Regulation Act which will ban the sales of e-cigarettes online, by mail, email, phone and fax.

The new amendment will also restrict interstate and international sales of the items just weeks after the price of tobacco increased to almost $40 a packet.

The price hikes in tobacco don’t end there — cigarettes will go up again in price by 12.5 per cent in September 2019, and by the same amount again in September 2020.

Until this week South Australia was the only state in Australia that had not introduced vaping regulations.

State Health Minister Stephen Wade (pictured) introduced amendments to tobacco legislation to include the banning of all e-cigarette sales in South Australia  

The amendments are due to be finalised next month.

State Health Minister Stephen Wade told The Australian that the move was an important measure aimed at ‘public health’.

‘Banning of online sales is an important part of minimising the risk of children getting access to these products,’ he said.

‘It was recommended by a bipartisan select committee in 2016 and is just treating e-cigarettes the same as we do tobacco ­products.’

Despite Mr Wade’s claims, some academics and advocacy groups have been left angered by the move, claiming it is designed to protect big tobacco.

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association called the new regulations ‘draconian’.

‘The new laws protects the tobacco industry from competition and make it even harder for smokers to transition to vaping, a much less harmful alternative,’ a spokesperson said.

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association called the new regulations 'draconian' and said it is taking away an avenue for people wishing to quit tobacco and take up vaping

The spokesperson added that the SA parliament is ‘attempting to destroy the vaping industry and make it harder for smokers to access safer products.’

The Australian e-cigarette industry was worth $60 million a year and employed more than 200 people.

University of New South Wales associate professor Colin Mendelsohn told The Australian he agreed that the harsh new laws would only serve to protect big tobacco.

The move comes just weeks after another price rise on tobacco in Australia which saw packets reach almost $40 each 

‘This law is unenforceable. The SA government plans to prosecute vendors selling products online to South Australians. Good luck with that,’ he said.

While introducing the amendments to parliament Minister Wade said the lack of regulation needed to be addressed.

‘The select committee concluded in its final report that e-cigarettes should be regulated in the interests of public health, as there is a lack of scientific consensus as to the safety of e-cigarettes,’ he said.

‘Maintaining a strong legislative framework for tobacco control is essential for reducing the harms caused by tobacco smoking in South Australia.’

The amendments are due to be finalised by the end of November and came only days after calls for vaping to be made legal nationwide.

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