Help us to help you. Support our campaign to save vaping in Australia
Posted on September 11, 2020
ATHRA HAS LAUNCHED a fundraising campaign to ensure lifesaving vaping products remains accessible to Australian vapers and smokers. Please help us to help you.
In 3 months (on 1 January 2021), you will need to visit a doctor and go to a pharmacy to get the nicotine that is keeping you off cigarettes. You will not be able to import your own nicotine. We are still waiting to hear the final details of this plan. It could be worse.
ATHRA believes low concentrations of nicotine liquid are lifesaving consumer products and should be easier to get than combustible cigarettes.
But we need to educate the federal members of parliament who will be making the decisions on the future of vaping in Australia
ATHRA is actively involved in discussions with MPs, but we need to do more. We need to hard-hitting media campaigns to get the message across to our decision makers. We have the evidence, we have the plans, but we need the funding.
Why a nicotine prescription model is wrong
The medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) thinks nicotine liquid is a medicine. They want vapers to visit their GP and ask for a prescription, then go to the pharmacy for supplies. This is wrong on so many levels.
NO western country requires users to have a prescription for nicotine liquid for vaping
- Low concentrations of nicotine liquid are not medicines. They are consumer products used to replace an existing consumer product, deadly cigarettes. Consumer products are managed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which can regulate them and ensure safety standards to protect the public.
- Vaping liquids should be EASIER to access than cigarettes, not more difficult. We should be helping smokers to switch to the safer alternative, not making it harder.
- Vapers won’t do it. The current laws require vapers to have a prescription to import nicotine. ATHRA estimates that no more than 1-2% of vapers have a prescription.
- Doctors won’t do it. We are aware of 8 GPs in Australia who are willing write nicotine prescriptions and there are currently 520,000 vapers and the numbers are growing rapidly. Very few doctors understand vaping or have had any training.
- Pharmacists won’t do it. Pharmacists are not trained in vaping and cannot give advice to new users. According to a Pharmacy Guild submission to the TGA in February 2020:
"The Guild is opposed to having these products in any schedule that would allow for sale in a pharmacy. The Guild does not support the sale of personal vaporisers in pharmacies, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine"
- Costs to vapers will increase from doctor fees if your GP does not bulk-bill, and pharmacy markup.
- Product choices and flavours will be drastically limited.
- Vape shops will be decimated. Vape shops provide a valuable service in helping smokers quit and are the smoking clinics of the 21st Century. Staff have the experience and knowledge to help smokers make the transition to vaping. Vape shops survive on the sale of vaping liquids
- The black market will thrive. Illegal suppliers will fill the gap with unregulated products that they will happily sell to young people.
- A prescription model will add huge costs to Medicare. If 25% of vapers get an annual prescription, the cost to Medicare will be $14.6 million. If all current vapers comply, it will cost $60 million each year.
How you can help
Please make a tax-deductible donation to our fighting fund to help us inform MPs about the lifesaving benefits of vaping and why they should support it.
Whatever you can afford is appreciated. Donations can be made to the ATHRAFUND by clicking the donate button here:
Please note that we do not accept donations from the vape or tobacco industry.
The next most important thing you can do is ring, write or visit your local federal MP and tell him/her your story and why vaping is so important to you.
Please get involved. Your life could literally depend on it.
Posted by Colin Mendelsohn, firstname.lastname@example.org