The Ongoing Fight To De-Criminalize Vaping In Australia
It seems crazy to us more fortunate vapers that vaping in Australia with a nicotine based e-liquid could see you locked up in jail for 2 years and fined $45,000.
Ridiculous as that sounds to us – it’s the hard truth.
That really is the ‘punishment’ for vaping in Australia and with the seemingly stubborn [some may say stupid] Government and ‘experts’ reluctant to legalize vaping – one advocacy group is fighting to remove the ban.
Legalise Vaping in Australia is backed by two extremely experienced advocacy groups and as you’ll see later they are organized – optimistic and ready for the battles ahead.
To set the scene a little – last summer the powerful Australian Medical Association [AMA] urged the Government to NOT legalise vaping with nicotine saying there was:
No evidence e-cigarettes stopped people smoking….
The AMA President – Dr. Michael Gannon went a step further saying:
Australia must not allow e-cigarettes to become a socially acceptable alternative to smoking.
Now that flies in the face of pretty much all the very latest scientific evidence but it seems to fall on deaf ears as far as the Australian ‘experts’ are concerned.
“Now Is The Time Australia”
Back in October Clive Bates – the UK’s very own ‘vaped crusader‘ – paid a whistle stop tour of the country and held a series of talks and speeches with the great and the good culminating with a letter to the Government highlighting the effectiveness of e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool.
He ended his visit with a strong message to the Aussie anti vape brigade:
Come on, Australia… now’s the time. And many Australian health and medical professionals agree. See this October 2017 letter from 70 Australian experts calling for the National Health and Medical Research Council to develop evidence based guidelines. It is a powerful call to action and deserves to be heard.
Now the fight to remove the Australian vaping ban has gone up a gear and is being led by the 50,000 strong [and growing] advocacy group Legalise Vaping In Australia.
Backed by a formidable and experienced duo of grassroots advocacy groups – they are campaigning hard – putting pressure on the Government and are hopeful of a breakthrough very soon.
Despite a few successes they are still very much in need of as much support they can get.
I spoke to one of the groups members Brian Marlow on their fight to Legalise Vaping in Australia and just like the guys in the Association of Vaper India – I was impressed with the groups professionalism and commitment to the cause.
You’re an arm of the MyChoice Australia & the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance who are they and why have they decided to fight the ban on vaping in Australia?
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is a grassroots advocacy organisation dedicated to standing up for taxpayers against special interest groups, and supports the principles of lowering tax, regulation, and waste. MyChoice Australia is an autonomous affiliate of the ATA focussing on nanny state issues.
Why did you start Legalise Vaping in Australia?
The evidence is clear that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking and a proven way to help people quit and allow them to live a healthier lifestyle.
Legalising vaping in Australia has the potential to save over 500,000 lives and it is immoral for it to continue to be criminalised. In addition, we believe that adults should be free to choose whether or not they vape. There is growing evidence overseas that shows how beneficial it is to legalise vaping, so we will continue to campaign for it.
How many members do you have?
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has over 50,000 members nationally and active chapters in all of Australia’s major cities. In addition, over 5,000 people have used www.legalisevaping.com.au to contact their Member of Parliament and demand reform, and we aim sign up thousands more in the coming months when we launch our national campaign.
How are you funded?
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is funded through thousands of individual small dollar donors who share our belief in a more free and more prosperous Australia, as well as some funding from businesses as well as other non-profits. We receive no financial donations from tobacco or related companies.
What campaigns are you conducting and how are you getting the message across?
We’re currently running online campaigns through social media to help gain momentum and sign up supporters. Once members sign up, they can send a message directly to their local parliamentarian asking them to consider the legalisation of vaping in Australia.
Early in the new year we will be launching a campaign bus to travel across key electorates in Australia and deliver the message to our politicians that many voters want to see vaping legalised immediately. You will be able to follow our campaign at www.legalisevaping.com.au
Have you met with the Australian Government or senior health organizations?
We have met with multiple parliamentarians, and attended public inquiries with senior health organisations in order to try and get our message across. We also submitted written testimony to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and Senate and House of Representatives Committees, as well as testified in person before the House of Representatives Inquiry into vaping.
Why do you think your government is so anti e-cigarettes?
Australian governments, both at a state and federal level, have a tendency to ban or restrict things first and ask questions later. Part of this is due to public health officials providing reports that only focus on one small aspect of a complex issue (such as the legalisation of vaping) without looking at many other factors that show the benefits of approving things vs banning them.
Do you think the government will change its mind?
Absolutely. It’s just a matter of time and we’re working hard to reduce that amount of time as much as possible.
How can vapers in Australia and around the world help?
By going to our website: www.legalisevaping.com.au and signing up to our campaign! They should also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
If they do these three simple things, they can then follow us as we launch our national campaign and get involved.
Your message to the Australian government
Do the right thing, review the evidence with an open mind, and legalise vaping now before more people needlessly suffer
Your message to vapers in Australia
The only way to fully legalise vaping is to pressure your local MP to let him/her know that you vote and you vape. It may seem like an insurmountable obstacle to get a government to legalise something, but it’s been done countless times before and it can be done again with vaping.
The team have a ready to go ‘Have Your Say Now‘ letter which can be sent to your local MP.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – given what we know about e-cigs and vaping the continued criminalization of vaping with nicotine e-liquids in Australia is not only ridiculous but bordering on criminal.
Now really is the time Australia and let’s hope 2018 sees vaping welcomed.
I’d like to thank Brian for taking the time to talk with me and wish all Australian vapers a Merry Christmas and a LEGAL vaping New Year.