Smoking & Not Vaping, Is It UnAustralian?

Updated: Jan 29

Article Written by Pippa Starr 29 January 2020

Australia has had a checkered modern history when it comes to the use of liquid nicotine in vape devices. While there is federal laws permitting the personal use and importation of liquid nicotine with a prescription, other state governments have often directly conflicted the federal laws and enforced their own against our constitution.

In Australia we have a rule written into our constitution that governs what is a federal law will always prevail over a direct conflict with any state or territory law. However this hasn't prevented various Australian state and territory governments from enforcing their own agendas with seemingly no push back from a federal level.

We have states and territories all with various confusing laws and in some cases govern the use of liquid nicotine harder than street heroin.

In Australia we lose more 350 lives per week due to tobacco related illness. Our government spends over $40 Billion dollars a year treating tobacco related illness, in what can only be described as a public health crisis of epidemic proportion. Our government raises around

$9 Billion a year that doesn't even cover a quarter of these costs to our health system, let alone the extra significant detrimental impacts and costs on our economy due to employee illness. Our government seems to think that raising the taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products to levels that see Australia with some of the highest tobacco prices in the world is the answer. While smoking parents with this horrid addiction often have to juggle their weekly expenses around affordability often causing complacency to their own health insurance, lifestyle and in many cases effects what they can afford to feed their families for the week. Price rises hurt families and are not solving to reduce the numbers of smokers significantly, as around 10% of Aussies still smoke combustible, carcinogen enriched tobacco and this number hasn't moved much in 5 years.

Even with some of the worlds toughest plain packaging laws, advertising restrictions & other legal nicotine replacement therapy products, all this is not helping to significantly reduce the numbers of smokers in Australia.

Meanwhile Australia has had senate inquiries and other procrastinating measures that makes vaping with nicotine in Australia one of the most confusing and baffling lost health opportunities in the world.

Australia has fallen behind the leading countries in the world that are being fair dinkum about reducing the number of smokers by embracing the potential benefits of vaping with moderated liquid nicotine. New Zealand have regulated sensibly and in the UK you can even purchase your vape products in a hospital.

However something different came out yesterday. An important and significant article by the "Royal Australian College of General Practitioners" recommended allowing a greater flexibility in prescribing for smoking cessation pharmacotherapy.

This is a significant move and I'm certain this is not a recommendation that has come without a lot of due diligence and consideration.

The current government health minister Gregory Hunt, has made negative public comments on vaping in recent history that again prove just how out of touch our current government are with the real science on this topic.

However to gain any significant change we need to keep advocating to our federal politicians and remind them of this recent recommendation by the RACGP so that the over 10% of our population that still smoke have a chance to discover the safer alternative of vaping with safe levels of nicotine. It would be un-Australian not to. It's un-Australian to allow our government to keep burdening

non-smoking tax payers with $40 Billion a year in health expenses. It's un-Australian to not recognize and embrace the best known technology, especially when it has the significant potential to improve so many lives.

It's un-Australian to let this health opportunity slip through our fingers and continue to burden our economy and impact the lives of our families and our mates.

Writing to your local member today is made easier by our friends at

Tell them about this recommendation by the RACGP and what the Royal college of Physicians England "the leading health body that originally called out the harms of smoking" have said about this issue. Tell them how good you feel that you have now quit successfully, and if your not a smoker or a vaper, tell them that you won't stand for your hard earned taxes being wasted when there is this amazing health alternative opportunity that could save our economy tens of billions of dollars every year and not only help the lives of your fellow Australians but also call for those tax savings to be passed on into your pocket!

To not do that would be un-Australian!

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