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Australians Want to Vape, Too, Poll Shows

Australians Want to Vape, Too, Poll Shows


Australians Want to Vape, Too

One on a global list of seemingly contradictory laws is the Nicotine E-Cigarettes Ban in Australia. What is that? Exactly was it says, but it's a bit more complicated. Down under, e-cigs are perfectly legal to have, but the use of nicotine-containing refills is a no-go.

Nicotine in the country has been, and is still, classified as a poison and thus harmful to consumers for regular use (note that this has no effect on tobacco products designed to be set on fire and inhaled - those are excluded from the rules). In its much anticipated report, the majority of the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport supported the upholding of said ban but admitted that "further research into the health impacts is needed."

On the opposite side, the South Australian Parliament’s Select Committee is hoping to change that status quo with a new proposal. Specifically, they want to make a change allowing e-cigarettes to be regulated in the interests of public health, thanks to new research.

Over the past couple years, smoking rates have actually increased down under. According to The Australian, the number of regular smokers has risen from 21,000 to 2.4 million as stated by Colin Mendelsohn, an expert in public health at the University of New South Wales.  

“For the first time ever, there has been no statistically significant reduction in the smoking rate, and an increase in the number of smokers in Australia,” he told The Australian, noting the nation’s smoking rate was now higher than in the US for the first time in a decade.

Hold the celebration for that fact aside, because that’s also considering that cigs in Australia are $29 a pack currently, with the plan to make them cost $40 a pack by 2020. As you can guess, this will keep Australia the   most expensive place in the world to buy cigs.

Yet, these laws and other tactics have not stopped people from smoking. And even more so, it has quite a few people pissed off and  demanding for the allowance of e-cigs. A recent survey by the Australian Retail Association poll, conducted by the Crosby Textor Group, indicated that 61% of the 1200 adults surveyed, are in favour of legalizing the devices. The ARA’s executive director Russell Zimmerman is urging the government to follow the lead of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand and revise the current regulations.

“More and more Australians are buying personal vaporisers” -yes!- “with nicotine online from overseas, simply because they can’t buy them locally,” said Mr Zimmerman in a statement on Monday. “The government needs to act so that responsible local retailers can compete on a level playing field and sell less harmful products for Australians trying to change their habits.” he said.

We agree with Zimmerman’s sentiments. More and more studies have cropped up about vaping being a healthier alternative harm reduction method for smoking trying to quit, and have been recognized as such by countries such as New Zealand.

It’s clear that the public wants change, hopefully with the new proposal and poll results, Australia may put a halt to extreme tactics and try other, more consumer friendly methods.