When looking at the issue of counterfeit goods, the obvious thing that comes to mind is the cheap knock-offs, like t-shirts, shoes or even the more serious items such as counterfeit electronic goods or car parts.
There is a recent new twist to this in Australia when it comes to nicotine vaping products.
New laws were introduced in October 2021 in relation to nicotine vaping products and how they may legally be imported or advertised for sale. These laws are designed to try and protect our youth from taking up nicotine vaping and to try and reduce the potential bridge to smoking.
What appears to be the situation is that if a product contains nicotine but it is not declared to contain nicotine on the product or packaging, it is considered to be a counterfeit product.
This comes off the back of a trend of people trying to evade regulatory detection by digitally removing the word ‘nicotine’ from the vaping products. This act is considered to be supplying and advertising counterfeit therapeutic goods, which is illegal as well as posing a serious threat to consumer health.
The part that we find interesting is that the product itself may not be fake, but the removal (or non-inclusion) of the word “nicotine” will result in the product being defined as a counterfeit therapeutic product.
This information is from a media release by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which goes into more detail and also contains warnings for consumers and advertisers: https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/tga-warns-consumers-counterfeit-nicotine-vaping-products