13-year old arrested for vaping

Posted on March 5, 2024 By Colin

AFTER HEALTH MINISTER BUTLER has repeatedly promised that he is “not going after" people who vape, especially young people”, a thirteen-year-old boy was arrested by NSW Police recently.

The boy was with his mother in the NSW country town of Deniliquin on 27 February 2024 and was asked to hand over his vape. Of course, he should have followed the police's instructions. When he rudely refused, the two police officers carefully dropped him to the ground and presumably arrested him.

Video available at https://twitter.com/BradK87287/status/1764618414906347860

The boy was arrested and taken to Deniliquin Police Station to confirm his identity before being released without charge. Reports say he will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.

YouTube would not allow me to upload the video as it "violates their child safety policy". YouTube doesn’t allow content that endangers the emotional and physical wellbeing of minors.

Under NSW law, police can confiscate a vape if they think you are under 18. However, this is precisely what Mark Butler has promised will not happen.

Events like this highlight one of the many unintended consequences of Australia's de facto prohibition of vaping – criminalising people who vape

It puts otherwise law-abiding people in contact with police and the judicial system, with the potential for a criminal record and all the potential repercussions of that. As with other illicit drugs, the people most likely to be affected are those from disadvantaged and lower socio-economic groups.

In some jurisdictions, possession can also result in jail time.

Other consequences of the prohibition of vaping include

Furthermore, there is a long history demonstrating that prohibition is not effective in reducing the supply and distribution of illicit drugs

In Western Australia, an adult vaper was charged with possessing vape liquid recently after police found a vape in his car, despite Mr Butler’s reassurance that this would not happen. The 49-year-old man could be jailed and fined for this offence.

Australia’s other 1.7 million vapers appear now to be at similar risk for not complying with the government's unworkable nicotine prescription regulations. According to the recent 2022/23 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 87% of vapers do NOT have a nicotine prescription.

Mr Butler needs to urgently explain why these cases are occurring after his repeated advice that vapers will not be targeted.

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