The Senate Committee has approved the vaping bill. What now?

Posted on May 8, 2024 By Colin

THE SENATE INQUIRY INTO VAPING has recommended that the vaping bill be passed (report here). What does that mean, and what’s next?

The Committee voted in favour of the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024. If passed in a Senate vote, the bill will ban the importation, domestic manufacture, supply, commercial possession and advertisement of vaping goods.

Voting against the bill was largely driven by the perceived harms of vaping, especially to youth, rather than by the benefits to adult smokers.

The Senate vote

The Senate will vote on the bill either in the current sitting period by the end of next week, or in the next sitting period in June.

Who supported the bill?

The majority vote of the Committee voted to pass the bill. It was no doubt supported by Labor party MPs, but details of other votes are not available.

Reasons for support

The Committee gave these reasons for supporting the bill in its report:

The Committee was “reassured to hear from enforcement agencies that the legislation will “significantly enhance” the ability of law enforcement and health authorities to crack down on imported vaping goods”.

Australian Greens: seeking amendments

The Greens will seek to propose amendments to the legislation, but have not committed to voting either way so far. However they expressed opposition to the bill in principle.

The Coalition: undecided at present

The Coalition appears to be opposed to the bill but remains officially uncommitted and will discuss the bill further in the party room. They said, we “reserve our final position while this policy makes its way through our internal processes”.

The Coalition noted that “the illicit vaping market in Australia is out of control” and involves organised crime. They also noted that vaping models in other OECD countries “to strictly regulate, control, and tax vaping products as an adult consumer product have been proven to control the market and reduce youth vaping”.

Coalition members of the Committee expressed many concerns about the bill:

The Coalition had serious concerns about the process taken by the Committee, such as:

The Nationals: strongly opposed

The opposition of the Nationals was very clear and consistent with its past position. In it's view:

No doubt there will be considerable internal party discussions over the next week or more, and probably some back-room deals before a final decision is made.

My prediction?

In the upcoming vote in the Senate

I am cautiously optimistic at this stage but political deals could result in a decision going either way.


The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee report on the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024

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