After more than a year of delays, the Australian government will finally implement its notorious prescription-only vaping scheme on Oct. 1. After that date, those caught illegally importing nicotine without a doctor’s prescription will face fines of up to $222,000.
Meanwhile, cigarettes—which kill about 21,000 Australians a year—will remain available in all the places they’re available now, and treated as a normal consumer product.
The new rules will force Australia’s estimated 600,000 vapers to either jump through the hoops of finding a doctor willing to prescribe nicotine vaping products, or risk severe punishment for doing what they’ve always done. (The law in Australia already requires a prescription to import nicotine, but it’s almost completely ignored.)
The primary difference between importing vaping products now and after Oct. 1 will be more severe enforcement of the nicotine import ban that already exists. The government says the Australian Border Force will crack down on those bringing nicotine in without a prescription.