Brian Marlow slams vaping ban in North Sydney CBD

Brian Marlow slams vaping ban in North Sydney CBD

Legalise Vaping Australia's campaign director, Brian Marlow, slams the North Sydney Mayor's plan to ban vaping in the North Sydney CBD, via The Daily Telegraph.

THE vape crusaders have blown up about plans to make North Sydney CBD a smoke-free zone, believing the “healthier” way to light up should be excluded from any new ban.

Mayor Jilly Gibson is pushing for North Sydney CBD — which has 46,000 workers — to be the first major CBD in Australia to ban smoking.

Cr Gibson has labelled smokers “outcasts” in sending a bold statement that “smoking is not acceptable”.

But Brian Marlow, the campaign director for Legalise Vaping Australia, hit back today, pointing to evidence that e-cigarettes are “nowhere near as dangerous” as regular smokes.

“Smoking kills two in three users, whereas the latest evidence from overseas shows vaping is 95 per cent less harmful,” Mr Marlow said. “The evidence also shows that the second-hand smoke from vaping has a negligible effect on passers-by.

“We just don’t think vaping should be banned in public spaces in Australia.

From July, vaping was banned in NSW at shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains, buses, public swimming pools, parks, sports grounds and outdoor dining areas.

North Sydney Council made Brett Whiteley Place and Elizabeth Plaza smoke-free in 2016, but Cr Gibson says there are no ifs or butts about booting all smokers out of Sydney’s second largest CBD.

“We have a lot of schoolchildren in the CBD and the less exposure young people have to seeing people smoking, the better it will be,” she said. “What people do inside their own offices or residences is, of course, their own business. But on our streets, parks and outdoor dining areas, I want us to be smoke-free.

However, Mr Marlow said e-cigarette smokers were “just a group of people trying to do the right thing”.

“A lot of people are addicted to nicotine, and if you apply a ban to vaping — which is healthier than smoking cigarettes — in the (North Sydney) public space, it’s just not on,” he said.

Council is expected to finish consultations by December on the proposed blanket ban and will start handing out “NS.NS” stickers, an anagram for “North Sydney. No Smoking”, to let residents show their support.

Cr Gibson said fines would not be handed out in the early days of a smoking ban.

“There’ll be signage and rangers could move people on if they were caught smoking,” she said.

Meanwhile, a new US study has confirmed claims of other experts that vaping can act as a gateway to real cigarettes, getting children hooked on nicotine and making smoking socially acceptable.

Researchers who surveyed more than 2000 teens aged between 16 and 20 over three years found while a third of vapers also smoked in the first year, more than half were also smoking by the end.