Your petitioners ask that the Senate Legalises Vaping In Australia

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The petition of the undersigned shows we call on the Australian Federal Parliament to legalise the use of nicotine in electronic nicotine delivery devices (e-cigarettes) as a less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco.

We support exempting low concentrations of nicotine liquid for this purpose from Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard and implementing appropriate standards and regulations for these products.

This is in the best interests of tobacco smokers who are otherwise unable or not yet ready to quit using nicotine.  It would reduce smoking-related illness and death and associated health care costs, as well as improve public health.

Tobacco smoking remains one of the most serious public health problems in Australia, responsible for the deaths of at least 15,000 Australians and costing the economy at least $ 31.5 billion every year.

It is estimated that at least 6 million tobacco smokers in the European Union and around 2 million in the United Kingdom have quit smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes.  Many of them had previously been unable to stop smoking using more readily available treatments.

Hundreds of thousands of Australian use e-cigarettes. 

It should be straightforward for tobacco smokers to switch to a less harmful means of managing their nicotine dependence, but in Australia, current laws make it exceedingly difficult.

Importantly, research suggests that the ready availability of e-cigarettes may accelerate the decline in youth smoking rates, contradicting concerns to the contrary. 

In the United Kingdom, United States of America, European Union, Canada and New Zealand, governments from both sides of politics have either legalised nicotine-containing e-cigarettes or are in the process of doing so.

Having achieved international acclaim in reducing tobacco-related harm by implementing plain packaging for tobacco products and other effective tobacco control strategies, Australia is now falling behind other countries, in addressing the avoidable health, social  and financial costs of smoking tobacco.

The time has come for the Australian Government to acknowledge consumer preferences, act in accordance with other Western governments and respond to both international medical research and common sense. 

Support and encourage smokers who wish to reduce the harms caused by tobacco by switching to safer alternatives.

Make vaping legal.