ATHRA Supporter newsletter April 2020

    Reducing the harm from smoking

    ATHRA supporter newsletter

    April 2020

    We hope you are all well and managing during this difficult time.

    New online prescription service

    First, some good news! We are excited to announce that Australia's first online medical service offering prescriptions for nicotine liquid for vaping is now operating. Quitclinics has been established by a registered Australian doctor and provides a secure, Australia-wide, face-to-face video consultation.

    Without a prescription, it is is illegal to possess or use nicotine liquid and there are tough fines and even jail sentences for possessing nicotine without a prescription. More information about this service here

    The impact of  COVID-19

    There have been the inevitable attempts in the media to claim that vaping increases the risk of COVID-19. This is reminiscent of the attempts to conflate nicotine vaping with the EVALI outbreak.

    In response, ATHRA has prepared information sheet explaining that there is NO evidence that vaping increases the risk or the severity of COVID-19 in vapers or bystanders, in spite of claims by anti-vaping activists. You can download a copy here.

    For smokers, there may be a greater risk of serious complications from COVID-19 but this has not been demonstrated yet. Certainly, vaping will help users survive the financial pain from COVID-19 compared to the extortionate cost of smoking.

    There has been a slowing of supplies of new vaping hardware, but there is more than enough e-liquid to get through the crisis. Most vape shops are staying open, often with changes to their usual work practices.

    We want your GP!

    ATHRA is preparing a list of GPs who are willing to prescribe nicotine and will put this list on the website after Easter.

    Next time you see your GP, please ask if he or she would be prepared to prescribe nicotine. Prescribing nicotine is legal and approved by the peak GP organisation, the RACGP, however most GPs remain uninformed.

    ATHRA has prepared a 4-page information brochure for GPs on the evidence for vaping and practical advice on selecting devices, nicotine liquids, counselling vapers, where to buy products and how to write a nicotine prescription.

    If you can send your GP’s name and email address, we will forward a copy.

    The 'gateway theory' is dead in the water

    Recent studies have debunked the myth that vaping is a gateway to smoking for young people. It is now clear that most young people smoke before vaping, most vaping is experimental and regular vaping is rare in teens who have never smoked.

    Increasingly, research is finding that the overall effect of vaping is to lead more adolescents away from regular smoking than towards it, ie that vaping is a net gateway OUT of smoking. See our two blogs here and here.

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    New online smoking clinic offers prescriptions for vaping

    AUSTRALIA'S first online medical service to help smokers quit is now available. The service offers prescriptions for vaping where appropriate. Quitclinics provides best-practice medical care for smokers. Smokers should try to quit first with the approved treatments such as nicotine patches or gum or varenicline...

    Read More

    No evidence that vaping increases the risk of COVID-19

    THERE IS no evidence that vaping increases the risk or the severity of COVID-19 in vapers or bystanders, in spite of claims by anti-vaping activists. Click here to download a one-page handout on vaping and COVID-19 The risk from passive vaping Vaping is no more...

    Read More

    Vaping has a protective effect in REDUCING teen smoking, new study

    New research has found that the overall effect of youth vaping is to lead more adolescents AWAY FROM regular smoking than towards smoking ie that vaping has a net effect as a gateway OUT OF smoking. The study by leading  UK researchers analysed data from...

    Read More

    Who is misinforming Melbourne City Council on vaping?

    THE PLAN by Melbourne City Council to extend its ban on vaping in the central business district is based on fear and misinformation, not on scientific evidence, and will do more harm than good. Submissions can be made until close of business Friday 12 June....

    Read More

    Vaping is a gateway OUT OF smoking for young people

    VAPING is likely to be diverting young people from smoking, rather than being a gateway to the deadly habit, according to new research. There is also scant evidence of a so-called “youth vaping epidemic”. These were the findings in a new review published this week...

    Read More

    Lung Foundation Australia claims vaping as harmful as smoking

    The CEO of Lung Foundation Australia recently made the alarming claim that vaping nicotine is at least as harmful as smoking cigarettes, if not more so. In an opinion piece in The Mercury on 29 February 2020, chief executive Mark Brookes wrote “there is strong,...

    Read More


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