New laws banning the sale of electronic cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories to children come into effect in NSW today.
The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 was amended in June, creating restrictions on the sale to minors, display and advertising of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories.
Changes to the Act will be implemented in two stages:
- Banning the sale of e-cigarettes and accessories to and on behalf of minors, restrictions on vending machine locations and the power of police to seize an e-cigarette in possession of a person under the age of 18 take effect on 1 September 2015.
- Display and advertising of e-cigarettes and accessories and the ban on the use of e-cigarettes in cars with children under the age of 16 present will come into effect on 1 December 2015. This date will allow for a public education campaign and for retailers to prepare for advertising and display requirements.
These changes have been introduced to protect children and young people from the potential harms associated with e-cigarettes.
Michele Singleton, Tobacco Compliance Officer, Western NSW & Far West Local Health Districts, said that retailers who sell e-cigarettes or e-cigarette accessories, including bottles of e-liquids, to minors could face significant penalties.
“The sale of e-cigarettes and accessories to a minor will be subject to the same maximum penalty as the sale of a tobacco product to a minor – that is, $11,000 for an individual or $55,000 for a corporation and, for repeat offenders, $55,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation”.
NSW Health has written to retailers and key industry organisations to ensure they are aware of the new laws and NSW Health inspectors will provide education as part of routine visits to retailers.
NSW Health inspectors will also monitor compliance with and enforce the new legislation, with the exception of seizing e-cigarettes from minors and enforcing bans on the use of e-cigarettes in cars with children under 16, which will be enforced by NSW Police.
Further information about the new laws is available by calling the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412 or online at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco/Pages/electronic-cigarettes.aspx.