E-cigarette ban doesn’t make sense: expert

The legal status of e-cigarettes in Australia is complex. Under federal law, the sale of nicotine products is effectively banned. However, since 2011 personal importation of electronic nicotine delivery systems as an unapproved cessation aid can be allowed on medical prescription.

At a state level, the situation is even more hazy. In NSW and Victoria it is legal to sell e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine but their sale is prohibited in Queensland, WA and SA.

While the ban has been met with little resistance and is largely supported by the public health community, it could be criticised on ethical grounds because it denies adults smokers the right to use a less harmful form of nicotine, according to Professor Wayne Hall, director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland.