The NSW Government has pledged $6.8 million to expand its vaping crackdown, after a record-breaking number of vape seizures.
In the first half of this year, authorities confiscated 187,000 illegal vapes. This is up by more than 200% compared to the same time last year.
Supplying, selling, or possessing a nicotine vape without a prescription is illegal in Australia.
The NSW vape crackdown coincides with a national push to regulate the illegal use and sale of e-cigarettes.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced plans for a nationwide ban on disposable vapes in May, but this has not come into effect yet.
In a week-long raid earlier this month, NSW authorities seized 23,247 illegal vaping devices with an estimated street value of over $695,000.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said vaping was a “significant public health challenge” and called on all levels of government to take action.
The latest funding for NSW’s vape crackdown will be shared across multiple regulatory stakeholders over a three year period.
This will include $4.3 million to boost enforcement efforts by doubling the number of inspectors responsible for vape regulation.
An additional $2.5 million will increase community awareness and support for young people addicted to vaping.
What’s in a vape?
The University of Wollongong recently analysed 750 vapes, most of which did not have nicotine listed as an active ingredient. Additionally, it found 98% of devices contained high nicotine concentrations.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the findings were evidence that “there is no such thing as a safe vape”.