Concerned parents have lashed out at a ‘loophole’ that allows stores to sell vapes and tobacco products alongside toys, and lure children to them.
Moonee Ponds Toyland in Melbourne’s northwest has a neon ‘We sell tobacco’ sign below its sign outside the store.
Jacquie Felgate of 3AW, a worried mother of two, took photos of several other stores selling tobacco, pacifiers and toys and posted them to her Instagram on Tuesday.
“It’s a loophole that allows merchants to sell vapes alongside toys and children’s products.” Vapes often contain nicotine, which is illegal,” she wrote.
Worried parents have been unleashed over a ‘loophole’ that allowed a toy store to sell vapes and tobacco alongside products aimed at children (pictured)
3AW radio’s Jacquie Felgate (pictured) posted a series of photos on Instagram on Tuesday of illegal tobacco shops that also sell lollipops and toys aimed at children.
On the store’s website, no mention of tobacco products among the catalog of Ben10 figurines, Lego kits, Disney products and baby items.
Parents who saw his post slammed the store owner for combining toys with tobacco products.
‘WTAF? That’s why we need a special part of the government called “the Common Sense Department”, which has superior powers to crush such bullshit immediately. This is so untrue,” one woman wrote.
“Kids love to grab a pack of cigarettes while they get new Lego,” said a second.
A third shared: “It happens everywhere. These stores appear as American candies and then sell vapes and other smoking paraphernalia.
Craig Sinclair, director of prevention at the Cancer Council, told 3AW there were too many tobacconists willing to sell products to children.
“Unfortunately it is still legal and we hope reform will come soon,” he said. “But it is still legal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes alongside lollipops and confectionery.”
“They are absolutely obligated not to sell them to children, but that’s the problem we know exists.”
Mr Sinclair said many e-cigarettes still contain nicotine despite product labels stating otherwise.
“A lot of the e-cigarettes sold in these stores contain nicotine, which means they are actually illegal products,” he said.
“No one is allowed to sell nicotine and e-cigarettes in this state without a prescription.
“It’s an open game unfortunately. Too many retailers sell to young children and many of these products contain nicotine.
In a photo from another store in Brighton, the store’s shelves are stocked with cigars, cigarettes, vapes, American sweets and popular Prime drinks (pictured)
It is illegal for businesses other than pharmacies to sell vapes and e-cigarettes containing nicotine in Victoria. However, retailers do not need a license to sell tobacco.
In Victoria, it is illegal for businesses other than pharmacies to sell vapes and e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.
However, stores do not need a license to sell tobacco. A manager must ensure that products are not sold to children under the age of 18.
Retailers caught selling tobacco to underage children face fines of up to $9,514.
In May, Federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced a major crackdown on vaping, including banning popular single-use disposable vapes and banning the importation of non-prescription vaping products into Australia.
Adults will only be able to purchase vapes from prescription pharmacies rather than retail stores, and vapes will only be sold in plain packaging and flavors.
Mr Butler described vaping as ‘the biggest loophole in Australian history’ and the ‘No’. 1 behavior problem in high school.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Moonee Ponds Toyland for comment.