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A recent report released estimated that approximately 520,000 Australians aged 18 years and over are currently vaping with figures set to increase further each year despite the regulations of nicotine sales in Australia. Compared to a previous survey done in 2016, the numbers of vapers have more than doubled.
In Australia and many other countries, vaping has been attributed as one of the most popular and harm reduction methods to quit smoking cigarettes for smokers who are unable to quit with current treatments such as gum and patches. Furthermore, a large British study found that those who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were more successful than those using nicotine gum and patches.
This higher success rate is not only to nicotine satisfaction but also to the act of vaping which many find it similar to the act of smoking.
Currently in Australia, as nicotine is classified as a Schedule 7 ‘dangerous poison’, it is illegal to purchase nicotine e-liquid in Australia. The only way to legally get ahold of them is by importing them overseas.
A recent announcement by the Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt imposed a ban on importing nicotine from the 1st July 2020 which unsurprisingly was met with outrage and anger from vapers that were faced with a risk of returning back to smoking or to obtain supplies from the black market. Because of this, just less than a week since the announcement, the ban has been placed on delay until the 1st of January 2021.
Whether it is smoking or vaping, none of them are considered safe. However, if compared between them both, vaping is considered much safer than smoking. In fact, in a 2016 report done by the Royal College of Physicians, it is shown that the long term effect of vaping is at least 95% less harmful on the lungs when compared to smoking. Furthermore, countries and agencies such as New Zealand and Public Health England are promoting the use of vaping as an effective and less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes.