Illegal vapes worth $1 million seized on way into Australia
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Health Compliance Officers in Western Australia have seized $1 million worth of vapes from a truck headed towards Perth.
According to the Health Department, 17,000 vapes coming from New South Wales were intercepted by authorities, the biggest single vape seizure in Western Australian history.
“We have increased State-wide monitoring and compliance activities to enforce restrictions on the illegal selling of vapes,” said WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson in a press conference on Wednesday.
Sanderson also confirmed that a 22-year old man is assisting the authorities with the investigation.
Our Compliance Officers have seized 17,000 illegal #vapes, worth $1million.— WA Health (@WAHealth) June 28, 2023
WA Health has tested the 87 boxes, and all vapes contained nicotine.
Nicotine is a dangerous and addictive poison. pic.twitter.com/0riflMtLq3
The vapes confiscated by WA authorities contained flavours such as ‘blackberry cherry ice’, which was likely used to appeal to young teens.
"There is no doubt vaping is a scourge on the health of young people across Australia, which is why WA has some of the toughest tobacco laws in the country,” said Sanderson.
The seized vapes, which were going to be sold illegally throughout the state, were tested by authorities and found to contain nicotine.
“Nicotine is a highly addictive and dangerous poison,” said Chief Pharmacist for the Department of Health, Meeghan Clay.
“People are profiting from others becoming addicted to nicotine,” said Clay.
“We will keep targeting businesses and individuals involved in this illegal activity.”
The Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 strictly regulates the manufacturing, buying and selling of nicotine across WA. Without a proper licence to dispense nicotine, people in breach of this act could end up with a fine as large as $45,000.
Up to 200 other toxic chemicals can be found in vapes.
These are the same chemicals that are also found in products such as bug spray, weed killer, nail polish remover and other various cleaning products.
The WA government is also working in collaboration with the Cancer Council to develop a digital education campaign to highlight the risks of vaping, as well as funding the Anti-Vaping Tool Kit, an educational resource designed for teachers and parents to use to help prevent young people from becoming addicted to vapes.
"Anyone who has any information about the illegal supply of vapes is urged to contact Crime Stoppers,” said Sanderson.
You can contact Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.