South Australia to ban the sale of vaping products online

South Australia’s vaping industry has been dealt a heavy blow with the states parliament approving a bill which will ban stores selling vaping products online, by mail or by telephone.

The Tobacco Products Regulation (E-cigarettes and Review) Amendment Bill 2018 will also prevent stores selling inter-state cutting off a vital revenue source that will effect the viability of many SA vape shops.

SA Vape industry’s crippling Restrictions

In-store vaping will be banned, restricting customers ability to test out a range of devices, which as many will know is vital starting point for new vapers. With this new bill the South Australian government is ignoring the fact that people have switched to vaping to quit smoking – and less people will now quit smoking as a result.

The only thing this ban is actually going do is hurt businesses. South Australia is the largest e-cig industry in the country. It contributes $60million annually to the state economy while creating jobs and paying taxes – all of that will be gone.

By over-regulating the market, consumers will be put into a position of accessing their supplies in other ways, including interstate commerce which takes more money out of the local economy and opens the possibility of increased criminal activity. Businesses will be forced to move out of state or shut down completely.

Huge loss to the SA economy

Australian Vaping Advocacy Trade and Research (AVATAR) chairman Savvas Dimitriou said “We have been demanding responsible regulation of this industry for years … and they are throwing it back in our faces by killing off one of the largest contributors to the state’s economy,”

“South Australia holds the highest concentration of vape shops with about 80 vendors. Some of Australia’s largest vape shops are based in South Australia and operate on a local, national and international scale. “This is a disastrous move. Businesses are actioning exit plans as we speak as a result of this unscientific, poorly written and ultimately misguided legislation.

“This marks the death of an industry in South Australia and the lives of thousands of smokers.” 

Savvas Dimitriou

What is the excuse given for such destructive legislation?

State Health Minister Stephen Wade said the legislation was an “important public health measure to reduce harm associated with e-cigarettes”. “Banning of online sales is an important part of minimising the risk of children getting access to these products”. “It was recommended by a bipartisan select committee in 2016 and is just treating e-cigarettes the same as we do tobacco products”  Mr Wade added.

Abstinence always works, but in today’s society, that is just not a reality. Quitting smoking can be difficult even when it’s in a person’s best interest. By banning an entire industry based on fear, the South Australian government is creating over-regulation and crippling the economy without having all the facts. Regulation is a necessary evil, but it should be done with forethought, evidence and a plan, not a knee-jerk reaction that satiates the portion of the state with influence by imposing outrageous fines.

South Australians struggling to Quit Smoking

The attack on vaping is SA is all the more dangerous at time when smokers in South Australia are struggling to quit, with smoking rates increasing 1.6% from 14.9% to 16.5% from 2016 to 2017.

So why are the benefits of vaping begin ignored? The most compelling advantage to vaping is the nicotine. Ironic, right? Nothing in the vape industry is standard which means even the nicotine levels are customizable. The average cigarette has about 12mg of nicotine, but the nicotine in e-juice can be controlled, and smokers use this benefit to wean themselves off of nicotine altogether.

There are no known health risks for vaping – only speculation from Big Pharma and legislators. There is little evidence that proves vaping is a gateway to smoking; in fact, many studies reveal the opposite. Most consumers of e-cigarettes were previously already smoking cigarettes.

The Australian health authorities insist studies conducted around the world to determine if vaping is a concrete cessation aid are not conclusive. Scientists worldwide have not been able to say, definitively, that the aerosol is harmful to the body. Despite this, vapers unite and praise the industry for finally being capable of quitting, for being more socially acceptable and for having an increased feeling of well-being. The director of cancer prevention at UK Cancer Research stated the “evidence so far shows that e-cigarettes are far safer than tobacco.

There is one vote left. Hopefully, the members of Parliament will revisit the proposed regulations with an open mind and do what is best for the state of South Australia.

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