On June 19, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt made the startling announcement that, in less than two weeks from that date, all personal importation of nicotine e-liquid into Australia would be illegal. Liquid nicotine is a controlled substance in Australia, and nicotine e-liquid isn’t legal to buy through standard retail establishments like Sydney vape shop Ivanna Vape. To obtain e-liquid with nicotine, Australians who vape must get prescriptions from their doctors and import their vape juice from overseas vendors. That’s the way things have been in Australia since the beginning of vaping.
When Hunt announced the impending ban, Australian vapers suddenly had less than two weeks to shore up their vape juice holdings for doomsday. As of July 1, it would only be possible for vapers to obtain e-liquid with nicotine from doctors or pharmacies.
Luckily for the vaping community down under, Hunt delayed the ban until January 1, 2021 after receiving significant backlash from fellow parliament members and from the public. In itself, however, the delay doesn’t change anything; it only gives vapers a few more months to prepare.
If it’s enacted, one group of Australian vapers is likely to be particularly hurt. That group is the JUUL users.
Why Would the Australian Ban on Nicotine Imports Hurt JUUL Users?
JUUL is the best-known e-cigarette brand. It’s famous around the world – including in Australia, even though the brand isn’t officially available there. Since there are no official JUUL pods that don’t contain nicotine, it isn’t possible for Australian retailers to sell JUUL products. All Australian JUUL users import their devices and pods from overseas vendors, and the ban will cut off their supply chain. Although it’s unknown what e-cigarette brands and other vaping products doctors and pharmacies will import into Australia when the ban goes into effect, it’s extremely unlikely that JUUL will be one of those brands.
In short, any Australian JUUL user who wants to stock up on e-liquid while it’s still legal needs to start doing so right now. The only affordable way to buy vape juice in bulk, though, is by buying bottled e-liquid – not pods – and that means you need to start using a refillable vaping device. You need to find a good JUUL alternative now. Hopefully, common sense will prevail, and the ban on nicotine imports won’t proceed as planned. Nevertheless, you should act with the assumption that you won’t be able to import e-liquid privately anymore in six months.
The good news, however, is that finding a good JUUL alternative is going to benefit your vaping experience in several different ways. The first benefit, as we just mentioned, is that you’ll pay significantly less to vape. As you already know, importing JUUL pods into Australia is incredibly expensive. Bottled e-liquid is much cheaper; if you use a JUUL pod every day, you may save thousands of dollars per year by switching to a refillable vaping device.
Here are some other benefits of finding the best JUUL alternative.
Greater Variety of Flavors
Aside from the high price, one of the biggest drawbacks of using a vaping device with pre-filled pods is that you don’t have anywhere near the selection of flavors that you’d enjoy with a refillable vaping device. There isn’t a maker of pre-filled vaping devices anywhere that offers more than around a dozen flavors.
When you buy bottled e-liquid, on the other hand, you can choose from hundreds of different flavors. In terms of the level of variety you can enjoy, there’s simply no comparison. Right now, you might be excited when you can manage to score a pack of mango JUUL pods at a reasonable price. That’s nothing compared to the flavors you can find when you buy bottled e-liquid. How about mango doughnuts, mango cotton candy or a frozen mango slush? If you can dream it, chances are that an e-liquid maker has recreated it in vapor form.
Better Battery Life and Performance
Another shortcoming of pre-filled pod systems is that they underperform in every way compared to refillable devices. The reason is because pre-filled devices aren’t changed or updated very often – and when they are changed, they have to be changed in a way that doesn’t lock out existing users. When you buy a pre-filled vaping device, you’re joining a product ecosystem that you expect will remain viable for a long time.
Manufacturers of refillable vaping devices, on the other hand, update their product lines multiple times each year. While products like JUUL have barely changed at all since their release, the rest of the vaping industry has advanced by several product generations since JUUL’s appearance on the market in 2015. With any good refillable vaping device, you can expect battery life, vapor production and an overall user experience markedly better than what any pre-filled device can deliver.
Reduce Your Nicotine Intake Before the Import Ban
The final reason why it’s such a good idea to identify and switch to a JUUL alternative now is because JUUL and other pre-filled vaping devices give you very little ability to control your own nicotine intake. JUUL, for example, is available in just two nicotine strengths of 5% and 3% in most regions. The 3% nicotine strength contains 10 times as much nicotine per ml as the 0.3% strength that many buyers of bottled e-liquid prefer. There is a very large jump between those two nicotine strengths, and the easiest way to reduce your nicotine intake is by doing so gradually.
With a refillable vaping device and bottled e-liquid, you can reduce your nicotine intake as slowly as you like. By the time Australia’s e-liquid import ban takes effect, you can perhaps even reduce your nicotine consumption so much that you no longer need to use it at all. At that point, you’re free to buy any nicotine-free e-liquid that you like from local vape shops. You might even decide that you no longer feel like vaping at all. You’re going to need a good head start if you want to reduce your nicotine intake that much over the next six months, though, so now is the perfect time to start.