A number of deaths in the US due to black market THC and Vitamin E acetate being added to vaping liquids show the urgent need for Australian authorities to legalise, regulate and monitor these products to protect Australian consumers.
Legalise Vaping Australia Campaign Director, Brian Marlow, said every day that the Australian Government fails to adopt and regulate safer vaping technology is another day that Australians could be exposed to the unacceptable risk of dodgy and illicit products being used in Australia and endangering Australian lives.
“We already know that vaping appropriately manufactured vape products is 95 per cent safer than smoking conventional cigarettes, and what we now need to do is provide Australians with legal access to these proven products."
“The situation in the US has happened because authorities were too slow to adequately regulate, monitor and crack down on dodgy and illegal behaviour. In countries where vaping has been legalised and legislated properly, such as New Zealand, the UK, the EU, Japan, Korea and Israel, we are simply not seeing the same issues as in the US."
“Australian health authorities now have even more impetus and urgency to legalise and better regulate nicotine vaping in Australia to deal with faulty and/or illicit products in the same way our regulators deal with unsafe food, drugs, vehicles and other consumer goods.
“Nearly 300,000 Australians already vape, with most vapers forced to purchase their vape devices online from overseas due to the current illogical ban on nicotine vaping here in Australia.
“Not only is vaping 95 per cent safer safer than cigarettes but it is now the most effective and popular quit smoking method in the world, with 50 million people worldwide now vaping every day without incident.
“Unfortunately for the 19,000 Australians who die from smoking every year, Australian health authorities, from the Minister for Health Greg Hunt down, continue to deny the irrefutable scientific evidence that vaping in fact saves lives.
“It is also disappointing that opponents of vaping have sought to exploit these cannabis deaths in the US to suggest that vaping itself is bad when they know these deaths have been caused by contaminated and illicit vape products."
“In fact a man has already been arrested in the US for manufacturing a large number of illicit vape products, and the vape industry not only welcomes this but want to see anyone else responsible for these products face the full force of the law and importantly to stop such illicit products being sold in future.
“Calls for complete bans on appropriately produced vape products in response to these isolated adverse incidents created in a black market is the height of bureaucratic stupidity."
"While Australian governments and health authorities continue to stick their heads in the sand on this issue, Australians will continue to be exposed to unnecessary risks," Mr Marlow said.