In a few months, Australians will have to go to a health professional to be allowed to vape.
Vape with a medical prescription
Protect young people from vaping. This is the argument put forward by the Australian government to make it accessible only under medical prescription. The number of young vapers doubled in Australia between 2016 and 2019. Some local brands cooperated with the vape manufacturers in China to produce their vape devices, also known as OEM vape. But maybe they were smokers and used vaping as a weaning tool? According to this government, vaping is a gateway to young people’s smoking: the famous belief of the “gateway effect.”
On Franceinfo, Doctor Joe Kosterich, who heads an association helping smokers quit, denounces this new measure: “This argument of the ‘gateway’ does not hold in the real world.” According to him, an argument turns out to be completely false: “In Great Britain, where vaping is not only legal but also encouraged, there has been no increase in the number of smokers among young people.”
So, no more online orders without going through your doctor first. To date, the sale of liquid nicotine is prohibited in Australia. But tobacco cigarettes are still on sale, logical!
A public health risk
Australia is a pioneering country in tobacco control. It was the first to introduce the neutral package, which also has one of the highest prices in the world: $24.25 or €20.38! Smoking is still much more expensive than in other regions like the EU.
500,000 people are vapers. Restricting access to vaping products that will no longer be available over the counter could make them relapse into their smoking habit.
According to Doctor Kosterich: “The British government has shown that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. So putting barriers in front of people who want to quit smoking through vaping makes no sense. On the contrary, it could push some people to start smoking again!”
On the road to smoking cessation, vapers are at high risk of experiencing a crossing of the desert because of this new measure. And that moves us.
“E-cigarettes save lives”
”E-cigarettes save lives” The use of this slogan in a German vape shop to promote its products has gone unnoticed! Last May, its owner was attacked for “misleading advertising” by Wettbewerbszentrale, the anti-competition bureau. Considering that it leads to “impermissible competition about traditional tobacco products,” the Trier court finds him guilty in the first instance.
Appealing to this decision, the main interested party intends to have the essence of it’s profession recognized: to support each person in quitting smoking through vaping products. Based on scientific data that proves the effectiveness of vaping in reducing the risks associated with smoking, the defense lawyer wins her case. A few days ago, the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz issued its verdict: “Smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes can probably count on better health.” Thus, it breaks the first judgment rendered by the court of Trier and, therefore, the misleading nature of the slogan. By recognizing smokers as the people targeted by this advertisement, the court announces a victory for German vaping businesses, which will therefore be able to use this slogan in the context of their activity. However, in a few months, they will see the prices of their products increase with the introduction of a tax on vaping.
And yet, a tax!
It would seem that the contradiction does not bother the German federal government! Without waiting for the European Commission’s proposal, the Federal Minister of Finance, Olaf Scholz, confirmed the taxation of vaping, like cigarettes. From next April, the tax increase for filter cigarettes, fine-cut, and classic tobacco will be accompanied for the very first time by a tax specifically dedicated to vaping products. This measure will be applied in 2022.
If vaping saves lives, then why impose a tax on it? This tax will drive up product prices. For example, a bottle of e-liquid will cost €9 instead of €5! Such an increase could deter some smokers from initiating smoking cessation by choosing vaping. In France alone, saving money is one of the primary motivations for quitting smoking. Well, in the case where cigarettes and vaping cost the same price, the legislator removes a motivation! So, Olaf Scholz, do we think more about his budget than German public health? Vape shops can now claim that vaping saves lives, but at what cost?