The Australian Retail Vaping Industry Association (ARVIA), a member group of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has slammed Senator Stirling Griff for engineering the passage of a Senate motion calling for a ban on nicotine liquid imports.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said thousands of Australian retail businesses were eager to sell scientifically proven, less harmful vaping products as alternatives to traditional combustible tobacco, but that grandstanding of the type Griff engaged in this week was unhelpful and counter-productive.
“Every other OECD nation except Turkey allows adult consumers to purchase vaping products, as scientific evidence clearly verifies our position that vaping saves lives and helps smokers quit their habit.
“Senator Griff’s motion contravenes evidence from respected regulatory authorities including Public Health England and the US FDA that nicotine vaping is at least 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco.
“Vaping products are reducing smoking rates in every country in which they have been legalised.
“If the retrograde measures contained in Griff’s motion are ever enacted, there is every reason to believe Australian vapers will resume their consumption of traditional cigarettes and this will ultimately cost lives.
“In the same week the New Zealand government tabled draft legislation to allow nicotine vaping products to be sold, it is unfathomable that anyone would find the case for Australia to remain the last developed country in the world to make these products available compelling.
“Our members are alarmed the federal government appears to be prioritising the profits of Big Tobacco and the $17 billion it collects in tobacco excise above the health of Australian smokers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
ARVIA has curated an extensive selection of peer-reviewed research substantiating the risk-proportionate benefits of nicotine vaping compared to smoking in a submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which can be accessed here.
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