The Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Bill 2015 will amend the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008, making it an offence to sell e-cigarettes and accessories, including e-liquids, to anyone under 18.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner tabled the Bill on the first official business day of the new Parliament.
“Today the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government delivers on an election commitment to protect our children from the potential risks of e-cigarettes,” Mrs Skinner said.
“This is an important step to ensure children and young people do not fall into the potential trap of nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking.
“What we are seeing in other countries is a sharp rise in the use of e-cigarettes by children and young people.
“There is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking but there is concern that e-cigarettes pose potential risks to children, which is why the Bill we introduce today is so important,” Mrs Skinner said.
E-cigarettes sometimes contain nicotine without nicotine being declared on the label.
The sale of liquid nicotine is banned in NSW unless there is an approval from the Ministry of Health or the product is otherwise lawful under the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Act.
If the Bill is successful, the offence will carry the same maximum penalty as the sale of tobacco product to a minor – $11,000 for an individual or $55,000 for a corporation and, for repeat offenders, $55,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation.
The Government will, if appropriate, bring further legislation to regulate the use and sale of e-cigarettes.