Hunt loose with the truth on vaping
Health Minister Greg Hunt has spread misinformation on national radio about the safety of vaping, thus safeguarding $17 billion in tobacco taxes raised on the back of poor and disadvantaged Australians who still smoke.
Legalise Vaping Australia Campaign Director Brian Marlow said Greg Hunt’s deliberate misinformation about vaping would ultimately cost 19,000 Australian lives a year who will die as a result of smoking related illness.
“Greg Hunt’s brazen attempt to prevent lifelong smokers from adopting healthier vaping technologies simply to protect the government's tobacco tax piggy bank represents one of the most damning public health failings of our generation.
“For every Australian smoker that dies, the Federal Government collects $894,000 in tobacco taxes, but this is an unacceptable price to pay for any life.
“The recent deaths in the United States, which Greg Hunt cites as a reason to ban vaping in Australia, are not related to vaping properly manufactured e-liquids that most Australian vapers are using.
“These deaths and illnesses in the US have been linked to illicit substances such as THC oils, synthetic cannabis and Vitamin E Acetate being illegally added to liquids and sold on the black-market.
“If anything, the experiences in the US shows the urgent need to legalise vaping in Australia and to regulate e-liquids to protect Australians from potentially unsafe ingredients.
“Greg Hunt has also lied about vaping being a so-called ‘gateway’ or ‘on-ramp’ to smoking when the evidence is now irrefutable that vaping not only reduces overall smoking rates, but vaping has also resulted in a significant reduction in teen smoking rates in particular.
“The reality is that 50 million people around the world currently vape every day without incident, and nicotine vaping has now been proven to be the most popular and most effective quit smoking tool globally.
“That is why in nations like New Zealand and the United Kingdom, health authorities are promoting vaping as a healthier alternative to tobacco and encouraging smokers to make the switch to help them quit smoking permanently.
“While Greg Hunt peddles lies to protect the government's $17 billion tobacco tax golden goose, 19,000 Australians will die needlessly from the nation’s single largest preventable cause of death,” Mr Marlow said today.