|The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Drug Strategy Household Survey data reveals that our national smoking targets have not been met for yet another year, and that vaping is playing a crucial role in helping Australians quit smoking and is displacing traditional cigarette use amongst people who would otherwise smoke.
Russell Zimmerman, Australian Retail Vaping Industry Association (ARVIA) spokesperson, said the latest smoking rate failures showed the urgent need for Australia to follow every other civilised and developed nation in the world and to legalise and regulate safer smoke free products such as nicotine vaping devices and electronic cigarettes.
“The latest AIHW report is a sad indictment on efforts to achieve the National Smoking Target of 10% for almost a decade. These results further demonstrate the need for Australian health regulators and political decision-makers to consider all options available, such as e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping, consistent with the international evidence that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking and saves lives.
The survey data shows that since the 2016 Survey there has been a 1.2% reduction in smoking, and a 1.3% increase in vaping, further demonstrating the failure of governments to reduce smoking and the success of Australian vape businesses in assisting lifelong smokers to break a fatal smoking habit.
“The latest data also comprehensively demolishes the claim that vaping leads to smoking. This data indicates that there is no so called ‘gateway effect’. In fact it is clear that vaping prevents people from taking up smoking in the first place.
“Furthermore, the AIHW data indicating that young people are taking up vaping either in addition to or instead of smoking shows that authorities are also failing to enforce even the current restrictive rules.
“There is simply no justification to further punish adult vapers, smokers and law abiding vape retailers by further restricting access to vaping products for the failure of law enforcement agencies to prevent underaged and illegal sales.
“In fact, law abiding Australian vape retailers are becoming increasingly concerned that the lack of effective regulations, including significantly harsher penalties, is a major reason why there has been an increase in youth vaping in Australia.
“While vaping products are helping millions of smokers to quit smoking globally, Australian smokers and vapers who have quit smoking remain at the mercy of an ideological and unscientific vendetta by the Australian public health industry who all rely on $17 billion in Big Tobacco taxes for their funding.
“Sadly, Australian health regulators and so-called public health groups are content to see lethal traditional cigarettes which kill 21,000 Australians every year remain widely available for sale as a consumer good, but will stop at nothing to stop scientifically proven safer vaping products from ever being a quitting option for Australian smokers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Facts about smoking in Australia
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