Vaping Hazzard: NSW Health Minister Cops It On Live Radio
“Our approach is backwards. Our health ministers have their heads in the sand.”
15,000 lives are lost every year in Australia from smoking and its people are denied the freedom of accessing alternative nicotine products unless a prescription from a doctor is attained. Due to the ongoing stigma attached to e-cigarettes in Australia it’s basically unheard of for a doctor to prescribe nicotine for them.
“Just this month, two cancer action bodies in the UK and America have updated their policies on e-cigs and they’re now actively campaigning for smokers to switch to them. Here in Australia however, we make it difficult for people to legally use nicotine vaping devices to help kick their smoking habit or at least choose a healthier alternative, even though 15,000 lives are lost to smoking every year in Australia.”
Australia’s policy makers need to wake up and follow the lead of other countries and make it possible for smokers to access e-cigarettes.
Sadly, Australia is not even close to this.
When questioned as to why the policy makers in Australia are so opposed to e-cigarettes while faced with mountains of building evidence proving their vast benefits, Health Minister Hazzard really didn’t have much to say – other than the NSW government is not proposing to stop people from vaping – but he says the view is that they should not be able to do it in public places. Mr Fordham calls out this so-called ‘defence’ immediately, as it was not the question or topic of conversation to be had.
As you can hear in the interview, Fordham’s frustration rightly escalates as Hazzard’s off-topic defence makes its way back, over and over and over again.
I also don’t really trust someone’s depth of knowledge when they keep referring to the products as e-vape.
“There are a variety of views in the US and the UK,” he says. “My view has been formed by the advice from a whole range of specialists here in Australia.”
Yet this so called “range of specialists here in Australia” all seem to still be on Christmas Vacation.
Public Health England have done most of the hard work for the industry thus far with the most indepth analysis currently available. This report – and many others like it – have been more than enough for countries like England, Europe, USA, Canada, and soon New Zealand, to ammend their laws to gift their population with a smoking solution that will not inevitably end in their death.
Basically, Brad Hazzard:
Australian federal law classifies nicotine as a restricted poison unless it is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in traditional tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, etc) or for approved therapeutic purposes. Therefore, nicotine e-liquid is currently not available for sale in Australia.
E-cigarettes are not covered under the New South Wales Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, therefore, vaping is not restricted in smoke-free areas. Non-nicotine e-liquids and e-cigarettes can be purchased freely from both vape stores and some tobacconists. Nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids are illegal to purchase and import (clause 20 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008), although they are legal to use.
There are a small number of vape stores to be found in New South Wales, mainly around the Sydney area.