Daylesford’s Victory Vapes owner slams new laws

May 10th, 2023Daylesford’s Victory Vapes owner slams new laws

The owner of Daylesford Victory Vapes says the federal government decision to crack down on the sale of vapes will put him and his wife out of the family business they’ve run for a decade.

The owner of Daylesford Victory Vapes says the federal government decision to crack down on the sale of vapes will put him and his wife out of the family business they’ve run for a decade.
Steve Douglas says the business he and his wife Stacy Kilpatrick have run for the
past 10 years will have to put off staff and shut up shop as a result of the new rules
expected to come into force later this year.
The federal decision will see vapes heavily regulated and the importation of all
e-cigarettes will be strictly controlled under a federal government crackdown on the
smoking alternative. Non-prescription vapes will be banned from importation, and
the federal government will work with states and territories to close down the sale of
vapes in retail settings.
The tax on tobacco will also increase 5 per cent each year for the next three years,
as the government also seeks to curb cigarette smoking through higher costs.
Under new rules, vapes will only be sold in pharmacies and in “pharmaceuticallike” packaging, with certain flavours, colours and other ingredients banned, and the
concentration and volume of nicotine reduced.
“These are supposed to be pharmaceutical products,” Health Minister Mark
Butler told the National Press Club last week.
“They have to present that way – no more bubblegum flavours, pink unicorns or
vapes disguised as pens for kids to hide in pencil cases. Instead, we will have plain
packaging with plain flavours.” All single-use disposable vapes will also be banned.
However, the government will also make it easier for people to get a prescription
for “legitimate” therapeutic use, such as using vapes to help quit smoking.
And all doctors will be able to prescribe nicotine vapes to smokers looking to quit,
rather than smokers needing approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
While many have welcomed the move as helping to avoid creating a new
generation of nicotine addicts who will go on to develop serious and costly health
problems, Mr Douglas believes it will drive sales underground.
“The black market will continue to flourish, the same one that’s selling chop-chop
here in town, while our market, the regulated market will be gone,” he said.
“We are age-restricted and we’ve never sold to a minor in the 10 years we’ve
operated. We are going to be shut down with no recourse whatsoever. We also have
stores in Ballarat and Cairns and this will mean 12 employees over our three shops are
going to be out of a job.
“It’s going to wipe us out. It’s going to completely shut down our 10-year-family
business. I’ve had locals in here in the last two days literally crying. The first one was
a 70-year-old retired nurse who we got off cigarettes eight years ago. She doesn’t want
to use tobacco.
“People are panicking because they don’t want to go back to smoking cigarettes.
This will mean many people will go back to cigarettes.”
Mr Douglas believes the crackdown is motivated by a concern to “balance the
budget” and to “make up for a shortfall in excise tax on tobacco”.
“The federal government normally make $16 billion a year on tobacco taxes but
this year they’ve only made $12 billion. This will balance the budget but at what
cost,” he said.
Cancer Council CEO Tanya Buchanan has praised the government’s move
describing it as an “historic shift toward ending the vaping epidemic”.
“Unlike smoking, we have a window of opportunity to take policy actions that
prevent the growing use of e-cigarettes,” Professor Buchanan said.
“With support from all levels of government, we can reverse the e-cigarette
epidemic and prevent history repeating itself for a new generation of Australians.”
Words: Eve Lamb | Image: Kyle Barnes

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