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45 Experts Write to Oz Parliamentarians

Forty-five public health and addiction experts have written to all state, territory and federal members of the Australian parliament expressing concern about vape proposals

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Forty-five public health and addiction experts have written to all state, territory and federal members of the Australian parliament expressing concern about vape proposals. They are urging lawmakers to listen to the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ANACAD) as Health Minister Mark Butler proposes a “vaping crackdown”.

The letter fully endorses the Council’s concerns about the proposed regulations which seeks to turn a failing de facto ban into an even harsher (and doomed to continue failing) ban.

Colin Mendelsohn says the Council's concerns were revealed earlier this month in emails released by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Mendelsohn explains the Advisory Council’s view:

  • Further bans will make the black market worse: “Further restrictions will likely only make the problem worse and we’ll end up criminalising more people.”
  • Sensible, balanced regulation is the way forward: “Sensibly balancing reduction of access and uptake among children and young people with increasing access for adults who want to stop smoking. Regulation that is too severe risks making smoking more attractive.”
  • Policy should be driven by evidence: “We should encourage the TGA to ensure an evidence based policy. We want to avoid making policy driven by unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence or selective interpretations of the data.”
  • Border control won’t work: “Border control efforts with other illicit drugs is hugely costly with, typically, very little impact on the black market and virtually no impact on use.”
  • All flavours should NOT be banned: “There is evidence that flavours that appeal to smokers encourage uptake of vaping instead of smoking among adults … Again, banning anything tends to increase the black market and possibly even experiments with home mixing of flavours.”
  • The ‘gateway’ theory of drug and alcohol use is flawed: “There’s no evidence that vaping results in young people who are not at risk of smoking tobacco to take up smoking.”

Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), expressed strong support for the letter. 

CAPHRA says it believes that the exclusion of the consumer voice has contributed to misinformation and disinformation surrounding tobacco harm reduction. 

CAPHRA urged Australian MPs to consider the expertise and recommendations put forth by Dr Colin Mendelsohn and the 45 health experts.



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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