“Australia’s overall smoking rate has barely moved in the past decade while New Zealand’s has halved.”
The NSW government has recently launched a $300,000 “educational” campaign to address the issue of teen vaping. Acting NSW Chief Health Officer Marianne Gale said the “centre piece” of the campaign is the Get the Facts – Vaping Toolkit, is pitched at teachers, parents and students aged 14 to 17 and contains evidence-based resources and educational material.

“The goal is to engage young people in a conversation about e-cigarettes and make them aware of the health harms,” Dr Gale said. “There’s a perception out there that e-cigarettes are either not harmful at all or less harmful than cigarettes, and that is not the case.”

However highlights Loucas, sadly the opposite is true. “These supposed vaping facts are either completely exaggerated at best or are without any scientific basis at worst. The Australian public – young and old – need to have absolute confidence in any health claims made on a government site. Unfortunately, this campaign falls well short of the facts. Instead, it’s littered with barefaced lies,” she said about the campaign.

Australia’s smoking cessation strategy is not working

CAPHRA added that if Australians want the truth, they should look across the Tasman to New Zealand, where vaping products are accessible to adults wishing to quit smoking without a doctor’s prescription. “The vaping lies getting peddled in Australia are an outrageous misuse of public expenditure which should be directed towards improving Australia’s healthcare system,” said Loucas.

“We’ve got a situation where a chief Australian health official is actively telling the public that vaping is not less harmful than smoking. International research resolutely refutes that. She cannot produce one piece of evidence to back her claim, yet Australians continue to get served up such expensive yet worthless advice. It’s a total disgrace.”

Loucas added that the local approach is clearly failing because smoking rates are not dropping. “Requiring a doctor’s prescription is failing Australia’s 2.3 million smokers, not to mention the 20,000 Australians who die from smoking-related illnesses every year. Australia’s overall smoking rate has barely moved in the past decade while New Zealand’s has halved, largely thanks to Kiwi smokers having decent access to a considerably less harmful alternative.”

THR approaches yield results

On the contrary she added, New Zealand’s approach is yielding results. “New Zealand is playing it straight with the public and subsequently it is on track to achieve Smokefree 2025 – where five percent or fewer smoke. In contrast, Australia’s health leaders continue to ban retail access for adults while directing significant public resources into scaremongering about vaping.”

“Australia’s medicalisation model is failing badly. Ongoing threats and lies about vaping only make Australia’s 10% smoking target near impossible to achieve anytime soon. They need a new tobacco eradication strategy as this one is clearly not working,” concluded Loucas.

Australian Vape Report Fails to Consider Crucial Factors

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In-house journalist covering international vaping news.