July 05, 2020 5 min read

The Nicotine Vape Juice Ban, When Might is not Right

As many of you may have already heard or read, the Australian Government has all but banned importation and consumption of nicotine vape juice. This is very suspect because the RACGP all but endorsed the use of nicotine vape juice a few months ago. While it is technically still possible to import nicotine vape juice, the regulation has made it almost impossible by imposing strict requirements that already overworked practitioners won’t have the time or the luxury of complying with the permits needed to import nicotine vape juice via the proper channels.  

When Being Wrong isn’t an Option

For decades now, Australia has taken a rather harsh route when it comes to reducing the number of smokers around the country. We have one of the highest taxes imposed on tobacco products around the world. The reasoning for this was simple, if it was too expensive, then less people would want it, right? Wrong. Australia still has some of the highest smoker numbers around the world despite the high taxes imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products. Now this is where it gets interesting. Many studies are showing that people who switch to vaping are more likely to actually stop smoking than those who use traditional nicotine replacement therapies like patches and the like. 

For the first time in decades, we’ve actually seen a decrease in smokers, and no politician can take credit for it. What do these hardline politicians do? They don’t want to be proven wrong, so they do what they usually do, they don’t man up to their mistakes, instead, they make it impossible for people to get access to a solution that has already helped thousands, if not millions across the globe to stop smoking. 

It’s all about the money. 

Many politicians will tout that the reduction in tobacco use reduction is because of the annual excise tax increase in cigarettes, but that is not true. Smoking rtes have effectively stayed flat over the past 5 years while other, vaping friendly countries have seen significant reduction in smoking rates.

Nicotine is an addictive chemical, there is no argument to this. Yes, smoker prevalence has gone down but this is only because they’re switching to a much safer alternative like vaping nicotine vape juice. I know some people who could go without their lunch or snack, but will do anything just to get their nicotine fix, this is how bad it is. You know this, I know this, the politicians know this. At the end of the day, no matter how high the taxes are, people will still look for their nicotine fix. 

But with the advent of vaping (which isn’t taxed as much as tobacco is, if it’s taxed at all) the tax revenue from tobacco will go down. So how will they keep the tax dollars coming in? Simple, by keeping people hooked on tobacco until they figure out a way to apply these taxes on vaping as well. How fair is it to fine people who just want to stop smoking thousands of dollars and even threatened with jail time? Is that really something that those who care about the welfare of the people should be doing?

If they really care about the health of Australians, then what they should do is they should apply those restrictions to cigarettes as well, which have been PROVEN to be harmful right? It just boggles the mind. Whatever the reason is, it just boils down back to the money. What they fail to recognize is that by getting more people off of tobacco, the government wouldn’t spend so much on healthcare because of the conditions CAUSED by tobacco in the first place. 

Same Evidence, Different Interpretations

Countries from all over the world have access to the same set of studies and results. The UK, EU, USA, and Australia are all looking at the same numbers and evidence that vaping is indeed 95% safer than smoking. How is it that Public Health England, one of the most respected medical organizations around the globe can endorse vaping and even go as far as recommend the establishment of vape locations IN HOSPITALS in the UK to get people to switch to vaping? 

David Burns, the operator of one of Australia’s largest online vape store, ECigOzsays; 

‘’The most troubling aspect of the nicotine ban is that Australia is examining the same evidence as other western democracies and coming to a completely different conclusion; namely prohibition’’ ‘’Its clear that misguided ideology and not the evidence that is driving this in Australia and will ultimately results in further deaths in Australia due to smoking’’

In Europe, there are some harsh regulations, but there is no outright ban. Vaping is being regulated much like smoking, which we are all in support with. Yes it’s fun to vape outdoors but only if we respect the rights of the others around us. 

Remember last year when there was an outbreak of “vaping disease” in the United States? This came with the banning of nicotine vape juice in certain places, driving people to go to black market sources and juices made from the back of someone’s truck or apartment. Compare that with Europe where the “harshest” restriction was to make sure that the nicotine vape juice should be manufactured to high standards.

All the studies aside, even if vaping is ONLY (I stress this because this is what the pundits will harp about) 95% safer than smoking, it is STILL THE SAFER. Anti-vaping advocates will harp about the dangers of the possible 5%, but will conveniently ignore all harm reduction principles. Again, it boggles the mind on how they can restrict something actually SAFER than the actual CAUSE of the problem.  

The Road to Hell is Paved with good intentions, or is it? 

Now, people who defend this decision will say that it’s for the common good, and I totally disagree. I am not alone in this. Millions of people around the world share this point of view. By making nicotine vape juice almost impossible to get, they’re just driving people back to smoking to get their nicotine fix. Everything has already been proven. Traditional nicotine replacement therapies do not work, or if they do, the numbers are dismally low. Cold turkey does not work, it never has, it never will. Vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy works, it has worked on me and on millions of others.

The ban would have gone in effect last July 1, but good thing there was pushback from many health organizations that truly recognize the effectivity of vaping in harm and tobacco reduction. This is not the end, the war for vaping in Australia has just begun.  

 


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