Advocacy is a two part endeavour

Posted by Lee Scothern on

Advocacy is a two part endeavour

Advocacy’s success lies in numbers too

“Whilst other forms of tobacco harm reduction have proven their efficacy, in particular Snus, vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes, has been growing at an exponential rate. 

As with Snus, nicotine-based e-liquids are illegal to sell domestically, suffering the same illogical, and yes, detrimental policy. Nicotine must be imported, and in accordance with regulations set by The Therapeutic Goods Administration, or TGA, a prescription is necessary to comply with current laws.

One can import nicotine or e-liquids with nicotine legally, but it is unlawful to take possession without a script.

Australian Governments and Agencies Appear to be Anti Health

There are additional regulatory measures imposed on vaping, and this is due at least in part, to vaping components and accessories being classified as tobacco products. Some, although few, are fair and just, such as a ban on vaping in restaurants, and the sale of goods to minors.

Other measures are quite simply absurd – 

  • Vape shops are not permitted to openly display products
  • Free samples are not permitted
  • All sales must be made from a single point of sale
  • Staff are not permitted to make claims on efficacy, or that it will help you quit smoking
  • In Western Australia, the sale of e-Cigarettes is illegal

Many see this as Government overreach, at the very least, counterproductive. Regulations such as these endeavour to make transitioning from smoking as problematic as possible. Regulations appear on the Health NSW Gov website.

“The extent to which Government goes to, protecting the billions it collects each year from the sale of tobacco, is a perversion of morality.

I find it incomprehensible that our Government refuses to accept the empirical evidence, that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. Moreover, I feel that more is done to disparage vaping than smoking. How is this possible?

Taking it to the streets

I’ve found that the majority of vapers tend to be rather passionate about the subject, and who could blame them? Finding a means to quit smoking is something worth singing about. However, rallies alone, whilst necessary, are only part of the equation.  

Advocacy vs. Regulation

Organisations such as the New Nicotine Alliance and ATHRA, have been working with governments to protect the rights of vapers, as well as endorsing and promoting the benefits of tobacco harm reduction. Numerous professionals from the medical, science, legal and public sector are on board as well. 

“But advocacy has another tool up their sleeve.

Vapers are making a difference too

It’s entirely possible that vapers will ultimately contribute more to public health than traditional replacement therapies; nicotine patches, gums and even medications. Here’s a closer look at how NRT’s compare to vaping.

There are numerous vapers out there spending time with smokers. It’s an opportunity to discuss their passion, but moreover, to educate and provide assistance with transitioning from smoking. And who better to do so than one who can share their experiences. 

Advocacy organisations, industry, media (although few and far between), vapers and bloggers, are the collective that will ultimately prevail. There’s no denying that there’s a powerful opposing force, but one must put aside any pessimism, and have faith that common sense will ultimately be the victor. 

Charles Yates


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