Credit: Original article can be found here
“Friday, 1 October marks the day deadly cigarettes
become a lot easier to obtain in Australia than safer
nicotine vaping products,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive
Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm
Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has expanded its
prescription-only model with customs to clampdown at the
border. This means no more personal importation of nicotine
vaping liquids, via overseas websites, without a doctor’s
“It’s worse than
medicalisation as very few doctors are registered with the
TGA to prescribe. Australia’s 500,000 vapers are now
expected to hunt down a willing doctor for a medical
assessment and prescription. Many, undoubtedly, will return
to the easier option of grabbing a packet of cigarettes.
It’s sadly another dark day for Australia,” she
By further limiting access to safer nicotine
products for its 2.3 million daily smokers, Australia has
effectively joined a sad club of countries, including
Thailand, India, and soon Hong Kong, which have banned
“Australia is now well down the world
rankings when it comes to adopting effective Tobacco Harm
Reduction (THR) policies. It’s miles behand progressive
countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, the
Philippines, and even the United States and Canada. These
counties openly acknowledge vaping’s key role in beating
tobacco,” she says.
Ms Loucas says it makes no sense
to effectively ban products that are 95% less harmful than
cigarettes, when Australian smokers can buy a pack of
cigarettes from any service station, supermarket or corner
store on a whim. She predicts the move will only expand the
already huge black market for nicotine vape
“The Lucky Country is not following
international science or THR best practice. Instead,
Australia is kowtowing to the poisoned advice of the World
Health Organization (WHO). By condemning safer alternatives
and ignoring mounting evidence, the WHO is doing its best to
deny the world’s 1.1 billion smokers a safe escape,”
says Ms Loucas.
CAPHRA notes that smoking rates have
significantly fallen in countries supportive of vaping. In
contrast, Australian smoking rates have almost flatlined
since 2013, despite aggressive tobacco control
Ongoing increases to tobacco excise have
made it the fourth largest individual tax collected by
Australia’s federal government at an estimated $15 billion
last financial year.
“You don’t have to be a
rocket scientist to see that blocking tobacco’s main rival
will only help lift tobacco excise revenue for the
Australian government,” she says.
international evidence also discredits Australian Health
Minister Greg Hunt’s claims that the ban will seek ‘to
avoid an onramp for non-smokers, especially youth’. Yet
the complete opposite happens: Vaping is no gateway to youth
smoking, but a leading offramp for adult smokers.
year, Australia’s closest cousin, New Zealand, legalised
and regulated vaping. Its overall smoking rate has fallen to
a record low 12%. The country’s District Health Boards and
Māori health vape-to-quit smoking programmes continue to
achieve record results.
In contrast, Australia’s
Senate Inquiry into Tobacco Harm Reduction last year heard
from public health experts, tobacco treatment specialists
and frontline health workers. They told the inquiry that a
prescription-only model would never work and only drive
vapers back to smoking. In the end, their evidence and
experiences were completely ignored.
startling research confirms Australia has sadly fallen into
the hands of greed. It’s now clear American billionaires
like Michael Bloomberg dictate not only the WHO’s health
guidance, but Australia’s health policies.
over the past decade anti-tobacco billionaire foundations
have funnelled millions into Asia Pacific NGOs to lobby
governments to ban vaping and discredit vaping
To view the full findings and money trails,
live and boasting over 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is
calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free
nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org
groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a
petition at change.org/v4v-petition
that urges the WHO to respect consumer rights and to stop
demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of
November’s meeting of the WHO FCTC.
For a free
digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia
Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics –
please visit https://apthrmedia.org
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm
Advocates (CAPHRA) is a regional alliance of consumer
tobacco harm reduction advocacy organisations. Its mission
is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult
alternative nicotine consumers to access and use of products
that reduce harm from tobacco use.