Politics & Campaigns

ATHRA’s Video Campaign

Australian consumer campaign group ATHRA has responded to what it sees as a “serious threat” to vaping with a call for vapers to take part in a video campaign

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The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) is a registered health promotion charity established to reduce the harm from tobacco smoking in Australia. It says that vaping is under serious threat and has issued a call for vapers down under to add their stories to a new online video campaign.

Colin Mendelsohn, Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, general practitioner for 27 years and tobacco treatment specialist, writes that the “anti-vaping lobby is exploiting the confusion [surrounding claims of youth epidemics and THC deaths] to restrict vaping even further.”

Mendelsohn points to recent coverage on Sky News Australia, where it claimed 34 deaths in the United States was “vape-related”. “Vaping has been marketed as a break-through for getting people off cigarettes,” says Sky, “but there are growing concerns around e-cigarette health risks, with the US experiencing 34 vaping-related deaths since March this year.”

Growing concerns? Only among those who have ignored the evidence about the true cause.

Colin Mendelsohn demonstrates that this isn’t a one-off by highlighting an article in The Guardian – where the journalist felts that including a comment from the rabid anti-vape Quit Victoria director Dr Sarah White was justified.

“If there are vaping-related injuries being seen in Australia, we probably aren’t picking them up,” White told the newspaper. “The frightening evidence coming out at the moment absolutely justifies the careful approach being taken by Australia.”

Australia is still struggling to come to terms with tobacco harm reduction thanks to the likes of White and ex-academic Simon Chapman. ATHRA has decided it’s time to fight back.

ATHRA is planning to make some videos of vapers telling their story to promote vaping and show how vaping is helping ordinary Australians to quit smoking. It has announced it’s looking for a range of everyday people of all ages, backgrounds, occupations and ethnicities, male and female to take part in the campaign.

“You simply need to tell your story to the camera: why you switched and how vaping has improved your life and what would your life be like without vaping. The videos will be used in social media and online to promote vaping. We are hoping to film the videos together on one day in Sydney.”

  • When: between 7-9 November 2019
  • Where: 11 Carlotta Road, Double Bay, Sydney
  • Recording will be done professionally in a question and answer format, so it will be easy to take part

Doctor Mendelsohn is offering to supply free nicotine prescriptions for all participants to avoid any legal problems. He is asking anybody interesting in helping to complete a questionnaire [link] and email it back to [email protected] as soon as possible.


  • ATHRA – [link]
  • ATHRA’s questionnaire - [link]
  • Sky anti-vape piece – [link]
  • Hyperbole in The Guardian – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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