The fate of half a million vapers hangs in the balance

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) has today welcomed the Chair’s report from the Senate Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction which has pragmatically recommended vaping should be legalised for specialist vape retailers and treated as a consumer product similar to cigarettes.

ATHRA Chairman, Dr Joe Kosterich, said careful market regulation of vaping products was a sensible approach and should be adopted by the Australian Government as way forward for vapers.

“The international evidence that vaping works as a smoking cessation tool is undeniable. For Australia’s current smokers to have the best chance at quitting, vaping products should be at least as accessible as cigarettes. Otherwise, they will simply continue to smoke,” said Dr Kosterich.

“Senator Hughes is standing up for the Australians who want to quit smoking or remain quitters.”

The Chair’s report validates the many powerful personal stories considered by the committee and recognises that forcing more than half a million Australian vapers to seek a doctor’s prescription before accessing potentially lifesaving, smoke-free alternatives is unworkable.

“Forcing Australia’s 520,000 vapers to seek a doctor’s prescription will place unnecessary stress on the already overloaded health system and ultimately force many to take up the deadly habit of smoking again,” said Dr Kosterich.

“Once GP clinics are choked with needless appointments, the unfortunate reality is that many doctors are not aware of the efficacy of vaping as a harm reduction tool, and most are unwilling to prescribe liquid nicotine.”

“Without a sensible regulatory model, which has been successfully implemented in every other Western democracy world-wide, the Federal Government will prevent Australians from leaving cigarettes behind for good.”

ENDS

Contact
Dr Joe Kosterich
Chairman, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association
General Practitioner
M: 0417 998 697 | E: joe@athra.org.au

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