In a letter released on Wednesday July 20th, vaping activists from around the world called on Australia’s Ministry of Health, urging it to cease the ongoing attacks against the local vape industry. This action came in response to a note received by vape shop owners across Western Australia from the WA health department, asking them to cease operations within 14 days.
Seventeen vaping consumer organisations worldwide signed the letter in support of the WA vapers, with director of the global vaping advocacy group World Vapers’ Alliance Michael Landl reiterating how such actions will result in a public health disaster.
“Vaping has been a lifeline for more than 80 million people who struggled to quit smoking. It’s the most successful smoking cessation tool so far and has been acknowledged so in the UK, France, and New Zealand, to name a few. Closing down vape shops will not only lead vapers to the black market in search of their preferred products but also prevent many smokers from quitting traditional cigarettes as they will struggle to find alternatives on the market. By restricting access to harm reduction tools while keeping traditional cigarettes on the market, the WA government is opening the doors to a public health disaster,” said Landl.
The lack of available products will increase illicit ones on the black market
While addressed to Hon Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, the letter highlighted that an alleged clause in the Tobacco Act prohibiting the sale of all vaping materials and vape juice, referred to by the health inspectors, does not exist. It also explained that the lack of quality products available and increase of illicit ones on the black market as a certain result of the closures would spell disaster for public health.
“Vaping has helped millions of Aussies to quit smoking, but without access to reliable information and quality products on the market, many of the vapers who managed to quit smoking thanks to vaping will risk going to the black market or back to smoking altogether. The current vape shop crackdown policy risks the lives of millions of Western Australians and needs to be addressed immediately,” highlighted Brain Marlow, campaign director at Legalise Vaping Australia.