The Australian Retailers’ Association (ARA) is urging whichever party wins the Federal Election to legalise vaping in the country.
The industry body issued a statement last week, following the decision by the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) to authorise the sale of smokeless heated tobacco systems, which has left Australia as one of the last major countries in the world where these products are still not embraced as a public health priority.
“When the FDA says these products are consistent with public safety – and when Australia and Turkey are the only major countries continuing to eschew them – it’s time we got with the program,” Zimmerman said.
While those opposed to the legalisation of vaping products contend they ‘glamourise’ smoking and are gateway products to combustible cigarettes, peer-reviewed scientific research shows that they reduce risk to smokers and eliminate passive smoking risks, the ARA said.
“If governments are serious about solutions beyond ramping up smokers’ costs, allowing the sale of alternatives that cut smokers’ health risks without passive risk to innocent bystanders, is a must,” Zimmerman said.
“Whatever you think of smoking, there are benefits here for smokers and non-smokers. Australia’s got it wrong. It’s time that changed.”
New Zealand recently legalised vaping as part of its effort to become smoke-free by 2025. The Government is set to publicly recommend vaping products as a healthier alternative to smoking in a media campaign to begin in August this year.