Almost 500,000 vapes detained in largest operation in Australian history

In a joint operation, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Victoria Police, have identified and detained nearly 500,000 vapes suspected of being unlawful.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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In a joint operation, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Victoria Police, have identified and detained nearly 500,000 vapes suspected of being unlawful.
This is the largest detection of vapes in a single joint operation and demonstrates how closely state and territory partners are working with the TGA to disrupt the supply of illegal vapes.
The estimated street value of this quantity of vapes is estimated to be more than $15 million. The investigation is ongoing. 
The Albanese Government’s strong regulations on vaping and enforcement of the vape reforms are sending a clear message domestically and internationally.
Since new vape import regulations took effect on 1 January 2024, the Australian Border Force (ABF) has stopped hundreds of thousands of illegal disposable vapes and vape products from entering the Australian community.
The ABF has been working proactively with officials in several countries to prevent the export of vapes to Australia, where it is permissible under the domestic laws of that country. 

The ABF has detected more than 4,603 consignments and seized more than 611,00 vape products already, making a serious impact at the border and protecting young people in Australia from the harms of vapes. 
It comes as Health Ministers from around Australia have urged the passage of the next round of vaping reforms which are currently before Federal Parliament.
The legislation regulates vaping products as a therapeutic good, banning the importation, manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of disposable single use and non-therapeutic vapes.
Vapes containing nicotine can continue to be prescribed as an aid in smoking cessation or the management of nicotine dependence, where clinically appropriate.
The Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 specifically targets commercial and criminal actors involved in the illicit supply of vapes. It includes a ban on advertising, including on social media where vaping goods are targeted at children and young people.
Combating vaping is a complex problem which is being fought across many fronts. Multiple Commonwealth, state and territory agencies are working together to take vapes out of the hands of Australian kids.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler: 
“While the investigation is ongoing - this is the largest identification of suspected unlawful vapes we’ve seen to date – sending a clear message to those seeking to supply vapes.
“Already more than 611,000 have been seized at the border.
“Since the Albanese Government banned the importation of vapes over a million vapes have been seized by the ABF and the TGA combined, in addition to the outcome of this operation. 
“Our coordinated efforts are working to control a product that has hooked a whole new generation on nicotine.
“Now we need Parliament to pass our legislation to return vaping to its original purpose of helping hardened smokers to quit - as prescribed by their doctor and purchased at a pharmacy like any other prescription.”
Quotes attributable to Josh Burns MP: 
“Vaping is a real concern in our community, and I’m pleased that Australian Border Force is taking action – including at the ports in Melbourne – to stop illegal vapes from hitting the streets.
“I talk to parents and teachers who are really worried about the impact vaping has on kids and the extent of the problem in our local schools.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that is taking the fight to Big Tobacco and to criminals who are breaking the law to make a buck off vulnerable young people.”

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