Petition Closed
Petitioning WA Health Minister - Hon. Dr Kim Desmond Hames MLA WA Health Minister - Hon. Dr Kim Desmond Hames MLA (kim.hames@mp.wa.gov.au)

Legalise the sale of Personal Vaporisers in Western Australia.

Short Summary

 - A recent court appeal win by the Department of Health has ruled that no Personal Vaporisers (PV - or e-cig) are allowed to be sold within Western Australia.

- The ruling includes all PVs - meaning everything from "cig-a-likes" through to high end "mods" are included in the ban.

- The ban on selling PVs is total - including both private and commercial sales.

- Cigarettes are legally available for sale in Australia to adults (18+ years old).

- Approved "NRT" products (mists, patches and gum) are freely available for sale in Australia - they are displayed on supermarket shelves.

- This petition requests the Minister responsible change the laws to allow the legal sale of PVs. 

Detail

Many thousands of people suffer terrible diseases as a result of smoking. Many smokers are unwilling or unable to quit for various reasons including an addiction to the nicotine and other chemicals contained within cigarettes.

"Vaping", or the act of using a Personal Vaporiser, provides an excellent alternative to smoking with greatly reduced harm to the user. It heats a mixture of Propylene Glycol (PG) and/or Vegetable Glycerin (Glycerol - VG), and, optionally, flavours and/or nicotine. PG, VG and food flavourings are all regarded as safe and nicotine is not carcinogenic. It satisfies nicotine cravings without the forced inhalation of 4000 plus chemicals and 20 plus cancer causing agents contained in cigarettes. (* link 1) It contains nothing not already included within approved NRT sprays - but does not include some of the more dangerous chemicals currently included in "Nicorette QuickMist" such as Acesulfame potassium, Trometamol, Levomenthol, Anhydrous ethanol and Hydrochloric acid  (* link 2). Use of a PV also caters to the ingrained "hand to mouth" action that smokers have developed. Evidence suggests Vaping has a higher "smoking quit" success rate than existing and recognised Nicotine Replacement Therapies. (* link 3 and link 10) 

Yet the Western Australian courts have recently ruled that Personal Vaporisers are now illegal to sell in Western Australia following a case appealed by the Western Australian Department of Health. This ruling was made using an aging statute originally created to ban the sale of confectionary shaped like traditional cigarettes (* link 4).  One immediate result of this being the forced closure and huge legal bills for local vendor HeavenlyVapours. Clearly, the cost to the owner Vince van Heerden and his family has been extreme (for more information and to show your support click here: http://www.gofundme.com/8apba8) .

Regardless of Therapeutics Goods Association (TGA) not yet endorsing Personal Vaporisers' as a nicotine cessation aid, recent studies show Personal Vaporisers aid with Smoking Cessation (* link 5). An international expert panel convened by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs found PVs to be 20 times less harmful than cigarettes.(* link 6). How can it make sense for the sale of tobacco cigarettes that are undeniably known to cause death and disease to be legal while a scientifically proven less harmful alternative (PV’s) be banned? How does limiting Australians access to a less harmful alternative (PV’s) serve the public interest? 

Whilst there are authorised and approved Nicotine Replacement Therapy options available to smokers, their success rates are dismal at best with success frequently reported to be less than 10 %  (* link 7). Worse, "Champix", a recommended NRT option, has had 29 deaths reported as an outcome from it's use in Australia (* link 8), whilst PVs have had none.

Existing smokers who are unable to quit are likely to contract severe illness. Converting to vaping significantly reduces that risk of illness. Making the sale of Personal Vaporisers illegal denies those smokers a valid means to avoid the risks of illness. 

Finally a couple of comments from well regarded experts:

1. E-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives, and those who would impede smokers’ access to them — or to truthful information about them — are, in fact, killing smokers.

Gilbert Ross, M.D., is medical director of the American Council on Science and Health. (* link 9) 

2. Characteristics, side effects and benefits of electronic cigarette use: a worldwide survey of more than 19,000 users has been submitted for publication. 81% reported that they had completely substituted smoking with e-cigarette use. Posted and soon to be published by Dr Farsalinos (Feb 2014) (* Link 10) 

References and links

* link 1 http://www.oxygen.org.au/hardfacts/whats-in-cigarette-smoke

* link 2  http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/24257/SPC/Nicorette+QuickMist+1mg+spray+mouthspray

* link 3 http://www.ecigalternative.com/ecigarette-success-rate.htm

* link 4 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/tpca2006271/s106.html

* link 5 http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/new-data-from-england-suggest-that.html

* link 6 http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/360220

* link 7 http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b1024

* link 8 http://www.tga.gov.au/daen/daen-report.aspx (Australian TGA database)

* link 9 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373157/anti-e-cigarette-conspiracy-gilbert-ross)

* Link 10 http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/152-world-survey 

Additional links:

Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos research site: http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php

Many common links and info sources: http://onvaping.com/the-ultimate-list-of-studies-on-e-cigarettes-and-their-safety/

 

My Summary and request to you

I started this petition to defend the right of users to obtain an alternate and far less harmful option to smoking tobacco. I have used a Personal Vaporiser for about 8 months. Before that I was a heavy smoker for 35 plus years and was unable to break the addiction, despite trying several legal and Government endorsed forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Since swapping from smoking to Vaping, my health has improved significantly. I know many other Vapers around the world echo that same story. A number of people have shared their own smoking to vaping success stories here - http://forums.aussievapers.com/aussievapers-your-story/ 

Changing the law so that PV equipment is legal for sale in Western Australia will allow many others to minimise the harm they currently face. Failure to do so will result in many current smokers being unable to quit. They will remain at significant risk of contracting one of the many severe illnesses that smoking can cause.

If you are a vaper, please support this cause for your own sake.If you are still a smoker, please stand up for your right to try out a safer alternative, even if you are not currently interested - the day may come when you are. If you are not a smoker but care about someone who smokes, please support the legalisation and responsible regulation of personal vaporisers that may save them from premature death. If you are someone who dislikes smoking and would like to see cigarettes banished for ever, please support this petition. Personal Vaporisers or electronic cigarettes are the final answer to the staggering toll on human health caused by tobacco smoke, and, directly or indirectly, are of a huge benefit to the entire community. 

 

This petition was delivered to:
  • WA Health Minister - Hon. Dr Kim Desmond Hames MLA
    WA Health Minister - Hon. Dr Kim Desmond Hames MLA (kim.hames@mp.wa.gov.au)


    Dave Jenkins started this petition with a single signature, and now has 3,137 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.




    Today: Dave is counting on you

    Dave Jenkins needs your help with “WA Health Minister, please legalise PVs”. Join Dave and 3,136 supporters today.