"After a misstep, it’s about to become illegal to import e-cigarettes without a
prescription, which means that, for most Australians, it’ll become all but
impossible to vape from October 1.
The misstep tells us a lot about how the Australian government works behind the
scenes — most of it good.
Mid last year, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced plans to ban the import of
nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and refills without a doctor’s prescription.
Border force would be checking parcels.
To Hunt, the decision made sense. It was already illegal to buy and sell such
products without a prescription in every Australian state and territory, and it
was illegal to possess them without a prescription in every state but South
All Hunt was doing was closing a (very wide) loophole.
Government backbenchers revolted, Hunt pointed to a doubling of nicotine
poisonings over the past year and the death of a toddler, the prime minister
offered less than complete support, saying he was keeping an “open mind”, and
Hunt put the idea on the backburner.
That’s the way it played out in public.
But beneath the surface, something impressive was swinging into gear. It’s
called the Office of Best Practice Regulation, OBPR, an apolitical body nestled
within the prime minister’s department."
This is an excellent process and I hope other governments have or adopt
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics