Chief Medical Officer must urgently update vaping advice or resign

Media Release: Chief Medical Officer must urgently update vaping advice or resign

The role of the Chief Medical Officer is to inform and warn the Australian public about potential health risks based on facts and evidence, not to spread fear, lies and innuendo, however it seems Brendan Murphy has done precisely that.

A statement issued on Friday afternoon by the Chief Medical Officer linking vaping deaths in the US to nicotine vaping, rather than to the black-market THC and synthetic cannabis that have actually caused these deaths, is irresponsible in the extreme.

Legalise Vaping Australia Campaign Director, Brian Marlow, said if the Chief Medical Officer failed to update his advice with accurate information or could not produce any evidence to support his assertions that nicotine e-liquids have caused deaths in the US, he has no other option but to resign.

Unfortunately, it seems Australian health authorities including the Chief Medical Officer would rather exploit these THC and synthetic cannabis related deaths in the US to continue to wage their ideological war against nicotine vaping here in Australia rather than seek the facts and provide Australians with evidence-based advice and information. 

While virtually every other nation has embraced, legalized and regulated nicotine vaping as a 95 per cent safer alternative to conventional cigarettes – and 50 million people globally now vape nicotine every day without incident – our own medical establishment from the Chief Medical Officer down is content letting 19,000 Australians die from smoking related diseases every year.

What is more concerning is that the use (or misuse) of Chief Medical Officer statements to spread fear about vaping rather than to outline the facts constitutes a gross abuse of power and only serves to diminish the role of the Chief Medical Officer and will undermine the credibility of any future health advice he issues.

In fact, the United Stated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not recommending people stop vaping nicotine, but instead states:

Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. 

It is bizarre in the extreme that Australian health authorities, who refuse to even regulate nicotine vaping, would ignore the FDA advice and instead declare that all nicotine vaping is unsafe when clearly the evidence proves otherwise. 

It is also incumbent on Health Minister Greg Hunt to clear the air on this scandal and confirm if he or his office requested this statement or if they approved its publication given his longstanding and illogical opposition to nicotine vaping as a proven harm reduction measure.

The health and wellbeing of Australians is too important to be put at risk by arrogant politicians and egotistical public servants who would rather see innocent Australians die rather than admit they were wrong.