Public health regulators in Australia have fined vape advertisers and importers.

CANBERRA — The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia’s equivalent to the US Food and Drug Administration, announced that it had fined four people and some companies more than AUD 170,000 for reportedly advertising or importing vaping products aren’t approved by the national government.

One company was hit with $100,000 in fines. At least, that is what has been reported by local correspondents for The Guardian.

That company is Mason Online Pty Ltd, with a fine of $106,560 for “alleged advertising breaches of nicotine vaping products.”

“Mason Online allegedly advertised the use and supply of nicotine vaping products on its websites and failed to come into compliance. The infringement notices relate to one of the company’s websites that advertised more than 400 individual nicotine vaping products. It is alleged that Mason Online was responsible for multiple websites,” the TGA said in a statement.

In October of this year, laws in the country came into effect that prevents nicotine-containing vaping products from being obtained with a prescription from a medical doctor. However, doctors are only supposed to prescribe their patients electronic cigarettes as a last resort when other treatments fail. The change in laws, long controversial, was prompted by concerns regarding the health impacts of vaping, with data showing children using such things.

“The TGA is warning consumers to be aware of counterfeit nicotine vaping products advertised and sold online,” the TGA said in a consumer notice. “Individuals and businesses are prohibited by law to advertise a product that refers to, or contains, nicotine unless they have a legal permission to do so.”

“Since 1 October, the TGA has observed a worrying trend of people trying to evade regulatory detection by digitally removing the word nicotine from nicotine vaping products. In doing so, they are supplying and advertising counterfeit therapeutic goods which [are] illegal and poses a serious threat to consumer health.”

“It is illegal to import or sell counterfeit products. Criminal and civil penalties can be imposed for such conduct,” adds the TGA.

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