MEDIA RELEASE: Parliament E-cigarette report keeps nicotine vaping illegal, leaving 500,000 Aussie smokers’ lives at risk

MEDIA RELEASE: Parliament E-cigarette report keeps nicotine vaping illegal, leaving 500,000 Aussie smokers’ lives at risk

Legalise Vaping Australia today condemned the Federal Parliament’s Report on the Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia for maintaining the illegal status quo of vaping nicotine, thereby continuing to criminalise Australians attempting to quit tobacco while leaving 500,000 Aussie smokers’ lives at risk by denying access to proven safer alternatives. The outcome is disappointing for supporters of evidence-based policy and avoids bringing Australia in line with most other developed countries.

“It is absurd that millions of Americans, Britons and EU citizens have given up carcinogenic tobacco and added years to their lives by switching to vaping nicotine, yet Australia’s public health bureaucrats, backed by politicians, continue to deny responsible Australian adults the ability to make a positive decision about their own health that is available to smokers in these countries.” Said Brian Marlow, Director of LV-A.

“In 2015, Public Health England, determined that vaping is significantly safer than cigarettes. 15,000 Australians died prematurely that year of smoking related causes. In 2016, they were joined by the UK Royal College of Physicians, and then 15,000 more Australians died. In 2017, the American FDA got on board, and yet another 19,000 Australians died. Now, in 2018, we have parliamentarians with no scientific training telling us that we just don't know enough about vapes yet. How many more Australians have to die before we have enough evidence?

“We welcome the dissenting reports by committee chairman Trent Zimmerman and members Tim Wilson and Andrew Laming which embrace best practice from public health agencies in the UK, EU and USA by recommending the legalisation of nicotine vaping. Wilson, Laming and Zimmerman attended, on average, 50% more hearings than those against e-cigarettes, showing that when people actually listen to the evidence, they end up supporting legalisation.

“Of the five committee members against vaping, Landry and Wicks did not bother to attend a single hearing. This is extremely disappointing and appalling as 19,000 Australians die preventable, premature deaths every year due to smoking-related illnesses and recent evidence indicates that smoking is on the rise in Australia while prevalence continues to fall rapidly in the USA and UK. Wicks’ own electorate is in the Central Coast, which has the highest lung cancer rates in NSW.

“These politicians have abandoned the opportunity to save Australian lives by delegating decisions about the legal status of nicotine to the Therapeutic Goods Administration – an agency that was recently called out by ABC Fact Check for making false claims about the positive impact of banning over-the-counter sales of codeine and has previously made misleading claims about the risks associated with nicotine.”

MEDIA CONTACT
Brian Marlow, Campaigns Director, Legalise Vaping Australia, bmarlow@taxpayers.org.au 0439 138 826