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Vape Bans Are Bad For Everyone

Despite researchers and tobacco controllers pushing for more stringent restrictions on vaping, evidence continues to amass demonstrating the problems with prohibitions

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New research states the obvious that workplace bans lower vaping rates. The problem is, why would anyone want to do that. In Australia, hopes have been dashed as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) blocked nicotine policy from softening and announced threats of fines, although there is clear evidence of a growing black market. Meanwhile, a policy analyst in the United States is proclaiming that vape bans “won't fight tobacco or improve health”.

Addition journal recently published a paper(1) from researchers at the Yale School of Public Health stating that the uptake of smoke-free worksite laws in the USA has led to “reductions in both current smoking and recent vaping”, which is as obvious as their other conclusion that it hadn’t had an impact on teens – oddly termed “emerging adults” – seeing as they don’t spend their days in workplaces.

The mindset behind banning vaping or restricting eliquid flavours is exemplified by Australia’s TGA. Confirming the ruling that nicotine will only be able to be purchased by consumers obtaining a doctor’s prescription. The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) slammed the “illogical” decision.

Former AACS CEO Jeff Rogut said: “Vaping is one of those things that has grown in popularity and there are an estimated half a million consumers of vaping products in Australia. The issue is that nicotine is an illegal product and cannot be sold by retailers, and we’ve recently seen the short-sightedness of the government in not allowing convenience stores, tobacconists or anybody else to sell it. They are looking at restricting that to pharmacies, which we are lobbying quite fiercely against. They’re making all of this legislation and regulations without fully understanding the full impact of their decisions.”

Nowhere is the impact of making access difficult more visible than on the New South Wales’ website(3). “Don’t be fooled by their aroma. E-cigarettes are particularly dangerous to young people as most contain nicotine which is highly addictive as well as other toxic chemicals,” says Director of Population Health Strategy Carolyn Murray, as she celebrated the seizure of illegal products.

With 26,000 e-cigarettes and e-liquids confiscated since January the penny hasn’t dropped. Just because they are striving to remove products from consumers the demand won’t vanish. Australia’s blinkered approach is simply leading to a booming black market and criminalising decent, honest people.

Writing on CTPost(4), policy analyst and former policy director of Legalise Vaping Australia Satya Marar says bans “fail to distinguish between combustible tobacco products and reduced harm alternatives.”

The idea of lowering the legal sales of flavoured tobacco products might make politicians and bureaucrats feel good. But that’ll be little comfort to the small businesses, workers and innocent citizens harmed by these ill-advised bans. Public health interventions should be determined by evidence. Not by discredited prohibitionist ideology,” he concludes.

One day evidence will win out, but until that point smokers will miss out on switching, vapers will be forced back to tobacco use, and lives will be lost.


  1. Adding vaping restrictions to smoke-free air laws: associations with conventional and electronic cigarette use -
  2. AACS Condemns Ruling On E-Cigarettes And Vaping Products -
  3. Illegal e-cigarettes seized in crackdown -
  4. Flavor bans won't fight tobacco or improve health -

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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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