Australia’s Prescription Vape Model Will Make Vaping More Difficult For Smokers

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For those who need vaping most, particularly Australia’s many tobacco smokers, the Australian Government’s move to enact a prescription-model for nicotine vaping products will make it more difficult to switch to vaping, which international research has shown to be an effective tool for quitting smoking that is significantly less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes.

Senator Hollie Hughes, the head of the senate select committee that recently launched an inquiry into vaping, has made clear that she believes vaping to be an effective smoking cessation that should be regulated like cigarettes, making nicotine vaping products widely available to adults in Australia just like cigarettes are. Hughes has personally used vaping to quit smoking and her voice is undoubtedly a powerful one in Australian politics. But is her recommendation enough to sway to regulators in favour of a model that doesn’t require prescriptions for nicotine vaping products? As of now, apparently not.

Although Senator Hughes leads the committee investigating vaping, the committee’s majority report has recommended a prescription-model for nicotine vaping products, which she has publicly disagreed with. While she has noted that she believes it to be a step in the right direction, the model that she would like to see implemented is similar to, if not the same as, what we see today in Australia with cigarettes that are sold in the country.

Cigarettes Remain More Accessible Than E-Cigarettes Despite Their Risks

In Australia, smokers can buy cigarettes at local stores such as petrol stations, making them widely accessible to those who meet the minimum age requirement. Vaping products such as e-cigarettes and e-liquid, in contrast, are not sold in local stores with nicotine in them, which is clearly a crucial ingredient for smokers who are trying to transition to vaping in order to quit smoking. While vaping products can be purchased in some local vape shops in the country, they’re not sold at petrol stations or convenience stores, making them much less accessible to Australians.

For years now, adults in Australia have relied on the internet and its vast number of online vape stores to import the nicotine vaping products that they need to stay off cigarettes. While access has been there, provided by out-of-country vape stores that ship their products to customers in Australia, the level of access to these products is nowhere near what it is for much more harmful tobacco smoking products, such as cigars and cigarettes. This is true in spite of the fact that tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in disease in the country, claiming the lives of over 15,000 Australians each year.

Nicotine E-Cigarettes Should Be Sold At Local Stores In Australia

Cigarettes, which claim thousands of Australian lives each and every year, are sold at local shops across the country. While their price has gone up considerably in recent years, many Australians continue to buy and use them despite their increased cost and serious health risks, which include death. Meanwhile, an alternative has surfaced that studies have shown to be less harmful, yet many general practitioners (GPs) in the country do not prescribe it. As it stands, there are very few GPs that do prescribe nicotine vaping products to patients who are struggling to quit smoking tobacco. For Australian smokers, this means that it can be difficult to find a GP that will write them the prescription that they need to use nicotine vaping products to quit smoking.

By providing Australians with the same level of access to nicotine vaping products that they have to tobacco smoking products, such as cigarettes, the Australian Government will be doing a service to the country’s many smokers, making it easier for them to quit smoking by switching to vaping, not harder.

When a smoker walks into a store to buy cigarettes, they should have the option of buying e-cigarettes instead. If not for the sake of freedom of choice, then for the sake of their own health. The government should enact a framework that makes it easier for Australians to live healthier lives, which is why nicotine vaping products should be regulated as consumer products and sold at local stores in Australia with nicotine in them.


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