Unusual for a consultation exercise, The Inquiry has expressly requested personal anecdotal evidence from users of vape products. We have never seen the like in Europe, although vapers were and still are encouraged to contact their local MP about vaping and their experience.
ATHRA advises Australian vapers to contribute a brief outline of their own struggle to quit, how vaping helped them and why they are opposed to the new regulations which propose a long-winded process to access nicotine liquid in the future.
The new rules would require a vaper (or smoker hoping to quit) to:
- Book a GP appointment
- Visit a GP to fill in an online form
- Wait for the GP to send form off
- Wait for approval from the TGA
- Book another GP appointment
- Visit the GP for a second time to obtain the approved form
- Take the form to a pharmacy
- The pharmacy places an order for nicotine from a wholesaler
- Second visit to a pharmacy to collect the nicotine
ATHRA says: “The Committee needs to know that vaping is a genuine lifesaving aid to quit smoking that has worked for hundreds of thousands of Australian smokers. The more submissions received, the greater the impact.
“You could also ask your family or friends to make a submission showing their support for vaping and the resulting benefits they have seen for you. You don’t need to review the scientific evidence or comment on technical matters. ATHRA and other organisations can do that.
“If Greg Hunt’s regulations are passed, you will no longer be able to import your own nicotine liquid. You will have to find a doctor who will write a prescription and a pharmacist who stocks it.”
The organisation says that the proposals would lead to vaping costing more, reduce choice of products, and result in shops closing and jobs lost – “Essentially this will be a disaster.”
ATHRA is giving out advice on what vapers should write in their submissions. This covers things such as who they are, their history with tobacco, any related disease, and how many times they were unsuccessful in quitting.
ATHRA says that any vaper wanting help with writing their story should contact the organisation by email.