A Bill to amend the Public Health (Tobacco) Act was passed in the Upper House, ensuring restrictions relating to the sale to minors, display and advertising of e-cigarettes are comparable to other tobacco products.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to protecting the health of young people and children and addressing community concerns that e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to tobacco smoking,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Following our re-election in March, we moved immediately to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories to minors. Further amendments have also tightened restrictions on how e-cigarettes are displayed and advertised.
“This is a comprehensive piece of legislation which will guard against the re-normalisation of smoking among the young, as it has the potential to undermine decades of successful anti-smoking efforts in NSW.
“I thank the Christian Democratic Party members in the Upper House for their invaluable input into this issue of great public importance,” she said.
The key points of the new e-cigarettes legislation are:
- it is an offence to sell e-cigarettes and accessories to minors
- it is an offence for adults to buy e-cigarettes and accessories on behalf of minors
- it is an offence to smoke e-cigarettes in cars with children under 16 present
- police have the power to seize an e-cigarette that is in the possession of a person under the age of 18
- new restrictions now apply to the display and advertising of e-cigarettes
- a person may not operate or use a vending machine that dispenses e-cigarettes on behalf of a minor
- e-cigarette vending machines may be located only in limited areas, such as licensed premises
In NSW, the sale of e-cigarettes to a minor is subject to the same maximum penalty as the sale of a tobacco product to a minor – that is, $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.
Penalties for all other offences relating to e-cigarettes will also be in line with existing penalties for tobacco products.