What you need to know… advertising e-cigarettes in Victoria

From 1 August 2017, changes to the Tobacco Act 1987 mean that the display, advertising and sale of e-cigarette products will be regulated in the same way as tobacco products.

The sale of e-cigarette products containing nicotine remains banned under Victorian drugs and poisons legislation.

PRODUCTS COVERED BY THE LAWS

The laws cover e-cigarette products, including e-cigarettes themselves and e-cigarette accessories such as refill cartridges and e-liquids.

Broadly, e-cigarettes (also known as electronic cigarettes) are devices that heat and vaporise a liquid that is then inhaled, simulating the act of smoking.

Devices that fit into the category of e-cigarettes include e-shisha, e-cigar, e-pipes, e-hookahs, hookah pens and vape-pipes.

Under the Tobacco Act 1987, an e-cigarette means…

  • a device (other than a device that is prescribed to be not an e-cigarette for the purpose of the law) that is designed to generate or release an aerosol or vapour (whether or not containing nicotine) by electronic means for inhalation by its user in a manner that replicates, or produces an experience similar to, the inhalation of smoke from an ignited tobacco product, or
  • any other device prescribed by the regulations.

An e-cigarette accessory means…

  • a cartridge, capsule or other container designed to contain a liquid, aerosol, gas, vapour or other
  • substance for use in an e-cigarette, or
  • a heating element designed for use in an e-cigarette, or
  • any other component of an e-cigarettes prescribed by the regulations.

E-cigarettes are a relatively new product, and much remains unknown about the potential harms they may cause. The new laws are a precautionary approach, in line with other Australian states and territories.