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Australia tightens vaping law despite benefits

Women using e-cigarettes

Although new studies in the US and Italy shows that vaping is cheaper and safer, law makers in Australia keep tightening the screws on vaping law.

An American study found that vapers save an average of $1 400 per year or $118.05 per month when switching from smoking. The poll included 1 000 US vapers who vape on a daily basis. This proved that not only are there health benefits to switching but also a big monetary one. This, however, comes to no surprise to vapers.

Other facts revealed while conducting the poll were that vapers spend $80.20 on average when purchasing new devices, vapers make 9.29 vaping related purchases a month and spend on average $60.76 on liquids and cartridges monthly. 71% of those polled said that they saved money since the switch.

Despite the above facts and many other studies that clearly show increased benefits when switching from smoking to vaping, Tasmania still amended its smoking ban to include e-cigarettes. The state already has some of the harshest vaping laws in the world, but now brings vaping laws in line with those on tobacco. This means that anyone who wants to sell e-cigarettes need to have a state-issued licence and undergo checks to ensure that they are fit to sell these. There will also be penalties to anyone selling vaping products to under 18s and it’s a crime to gift such products to under 18-year-olds. Vaping will be banned wherever smoking is; and no advertising will be permitted. The reasons cited for this decision were to prevent people from taking up vaping, to protect the public from second hand vapour and protect the existing efforts to reduce smoking in Australia.

Numerous research studies found that second hand vapour poses no detectable risk to health. In fact, a recent study showed that vapour is 5 700 times less likely to cause lung cancer than smoking, therefore in real life, it bears no risk. This specific study looked at the chemical composition of vapour and found that the levels of harmful substances were within the safety limits as set by WHO and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Public Health England (PHE) came out criticising Australia’s inquiry into vaping which was used in the debates that found e-cigarettes should remain banned in the country. PHE cited many factual errors which included  that the UK has a fundamentally different approach to vaping than the rest of Europe (all EU countries have similar laws); that the UK has never tried interventionist tobacco control measures (it has some of the strictest in the world, and is now realising that they don’t work); that the widely quoted figure of 95% safer was the result of “basically a vote” (it was based on the largest expert review of the evidence carried out so far); and that the UK’s world-leading Smoking Toolkit Study shows vaping to be “robustly associated” with smoking initiation (this is a completely false claim).”