Vape enthusiasts are being forced to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy their products from local shops as prices have soared.
The demand for vape products has increased sharply as vape shops are increasingly overwhelmed by demand for vaping gear, such as the new e-cig and vape pens.
However, many vape shops have been hit by a crippling shortage of stock in the past two weeks, with vape enthusiasts spending months or even years to find and buy the new vaping equipment they need.
A spokeswoman for the National Vaping Alliance said the shortage had “hit all parts of the country”, with the supply chain “very difficult”.
“The demand has been increasing at an alarming rate for many months and it is now just about impossible to keep up,” she said.
“The supply is simply not there and the price is simply too high for some shops.”
A spokeswoman from vape retailer Ego said it was currently working to replenish stock.
“We are working hard to get our stock back into stock, but we are having to make difficult decisions at the moment,” she told the ABC.
“If we cannot get our inventory back to normal in a timely manner we are going to have to raise prices or we may need to shut our doors altogether.”
For the moment we are not able to get it back to our customers.
“She said there was a huge supply chain, with over 200 vape shops operating in Queensland and New South Wales.”
There are more than 30,000 vape shops in Queensland, and over 15,000 in NSW.
“Most of these vape shops will need to be able to handle this surge in demand for their products,” she added.
“But we can’t do it alone.”
In Victoria, there are about 5,000 shops in Victoria that sell vaping gear.
The Victoria Government is planning to introduce legislation to help retailers meet the increasing demand.
However the legislation will not come into effect until next year.
It is expected that retailers will be forced to raise their prices if they do not meet the demand, which is already higher than last year’s average price of $350.
Vaping is a relatively new industry and has not been seen in Australia since the 1970s.
However it is still growing rapidly, with demand for e-cigarettes increasing by more than 400 per cent in a year, according to a report published in December.
In October, the Australian Vaping Association estimated there were 2,000 e-cigarette shops in Australia.
The number of vaping shops in the country has been growing for the past few years and is forecast to reach a record level in 2021.
It represents a surge in retail activity that is likely to be welcomed by e-vapor enthusiasts who want to purchase vaping gear without spending a fortune.
Vape shops are the heart of the vaping scene, with people from across the country congregating in the CBD to pick up their supplies and fill their vapour tanks.
Vaporiser companies such as Ego and Vapor, who are also providing e-liquid, are currently operating in Victoria, but have not yet established an official branch.
However they are also expanding their retail presence in Queensland.
Vapour shops in Brisbane and South Brisbane are also opening their doors and selling vaping supplies.
“These are the places we are talking about,” said the National Vapor Alliance’s spokeswoman.
“It’s really quite incredible to see how many of the shops are opening in the state and just a few months ago we were just talking to some of the guys in South Brisbane about doing a little venture here.”
“I don’t know if they are going up or down, I don’t even know if we have an official store, but they are opening up in places like South Brisbane.”
She says the supply chains have already been in a constant state of flux and the lack of stock has caused a significant shortage.
“Vape is a growing industry, so it’s quite a bit of supply chain disruption that we are seeing,” she explained.
“Even though the market is not really on fire at the same time as the vape industry, it’s still a very, very challenging time.”
A spokesman for the Victorian Premier’s Department said the state was working to supply vape shops with vape equipment, but would not say whether the new regulations would apply to them.
The Department also confirmed that Victoria was considering introducing an online retail model for vaping, but did not provide any further details.