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NSW based executive officer fined $10,656 for alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vaping products

10 February 2022

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued four infringement notices totalling $10,656 to an executive officer of a company for alleged advertising breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) in relation to nicotine vaping products on www.vaporfactory.com.au.

The individual was allegedly responsible for the advertising of nicotine vaping products on a company website. The TGA alleges that the company contravened a civil penalty provision in the Act and that the individual who was an executive officer of the company knew that the contravention would occur and was in a position to influence the company.

Despite the TGA's correspondence and guidance about the legal requirements for advertising and supplying nicotine vaping products, the individual failed to bring the company's advertising into compliance with the Act and failed to prevent the company contravening the provision.

An executive officer of a company is a 'person' under the Act whether or not they are a director or an official office bearer, who is concerned with, or takes part in, the management of the company.

Advertising breaches in relation to nicotine vaping products are a serious matter and the TGA is taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure compliance with the law. Under the Act, vaping products that contain nicotine cannot be advertised to the Australian public as they are included in the Poisons Standard as prescription only medicines.

Consumer information

The TGA has published information for consumers on how to legally access nicotine vaping products, following consultation and a prescription from their doctor, as a treatment to help stop smoking.

The TGA advises consumers that if they are considering buying vaping products, including nicotine vaping products, online it is important to be careful, especially when the seller does not ask for a valid prescription for products containing nicotine. Consumers are encouraged to ask the overseas supplier questions about the ingredients and manufacturing of the product.

The TGA has conducted laboratory testing on a number of vaping products and has found a large number to contain undeclared nicotine or prohibited substances.

The TGA encourages the reporting of suspected non-compliant advertising.

If you suspect non-compliance in relation to therapeutic goods more broadly, you can report illegal or questionable practices online to the TGA.