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AUSTRALIA

Vaping advertisers and importers fined

22 Nov 2021. Australian drug regulator, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued fines of AUD 170,000 under new laws that ban nicotine vaping without a doctor’s prescription, reports The Guardian.

Four individuals and companies have been fined over AUD 170,000 (USD 123,114) for illegally advertising or importing vaping products. This comes after a new law came into effect in October stating that vaping products containing nicotine have to be prescribed.

Sydney-based company Mason Online is the latest company to be fined by the TGA for breaching the new guidelines. The TGA alleged that Mason Online is responsible for vaping websites that illegally promote and supply nicotine vaping products, reports The Guardian. Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, vaping products that contain nicotine are prescription-only medicines and cannot be advertised to the public.

Mason Online has now been hit with eight infringement notices of AUD 106,560 (USD 77,170) in total after failing to respond to the multiple warnings.

“Where the TGA requests a person to review their website and remove all non-compliant advertising, it is not enough for the website to be redirected to an overseas domain or for references to a locally based bricks and mortar store to be removed from the website. The TGA reminds advertisers of the recent warning not to engage in deceptive conduct,” a statement from the regulator said.

“We welcome the strong monitoring of illegal advertising which doesn’t meet the guidance provided by the TGA,” said Maurice Swanson, chief executive of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health. “The TGA’s advertising guidelines have been well-known and well-promoted, so companies can’t claim not to have known about it.”