With the recent NSW campaign aimed at stopping the use of illegally sourced Nicotine disposable vapes amongst minors, it has become abundantly clear that the black market is thriving in Australia. Minors are easily sourcing Nicotine containing disposable vapes and is fast becoming an uncontrollable issue for the State and Federal Government. With vaping proving time and time again to be one of the most effective means to quit smoking, such campaigns cast a shadow on its legitimate use.
The legitimate Vape Industry has and will always support restricted access of Vaping products to minors, but it should not come at the cost of a smoker being misled into thinking vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking. With that said, let’s clear the air on some claims that have been made.
“It is illegal to sell to minors.”
100% correct. This is an industry of products that were designed with the sole intention to provide smokers a safer alternative to cigarettes. Prior to it being made illegal to sell these products to minors, legitimate Vape stores had been self regulating this.
“Vaping is exploding in popularity amongst minors”
This is definitely becoming apparant as accessibility skyrockets on the black market. This is fueled by the inability to source nicotine products with ease, legally.
“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.”
Peer reviewed journals and health bodies such as the NHS in the UK have confirmed the product to be up to 95% safer than smoking. However if comparing Vaping to NOT smoking or Vaping, there is an increased risk. Inhaling anything other than fresh air is an increase in risk to your health. It is unfortunate in this campaign it is being stated that it is not “less than harmful than cigarettes”. With this campaign being used as a scare tactic to stop minors from Vaping, we agree with the intention, but not the execution as the consequences of this lie is profound in the uptake of smokers moving to a safer alternative. Smokers are less likely to consider vaping with such Government endorsed statements.
“Vaping liquids contain chemicals that are similar to antifreeze”
Quite a hazardous statement this one is. Propylene Glycol (PG) is not antifreeze.
PG is added into items such as:
- Baked goods
- Prepared foods
- Vanilla and almond extracts
- Food coloring
- Pharmaceutical products
- Cosmetic products
- Personal care products
Propylene glycol is commonly confused with ethylene glycol, however, these are not the same substances.
Ethylene glycol is highly toxic to humans and is not used in food/Vaping products.
“If I had my way, all of them would be banned”
This is a statement that contradicts the Australian Government’s stance. Federal legislation introduced last October imposed minimum safety standards for nicotine vapes imported from overseas and made warning labels mandatory. It also enforced the requirement for a prescription. This means the Federal Government acknowledged e-cigarettes/e-liquid containing nicotine as a medicinal product. Why would one want to ban a product in its entirety if it has medicinal value?
“A variety of dangerous additives were also found in vapes including nail polish, insect spray and detergents”
This may be the case in products sourced via the black market. As products containing nicotine sold locally are illegal, the legitimacy of where it is sourced from and how it is made is in question. However, e-liquid that is made the way it is currently being made by legitimate manufacturers in Australia, contain only three ingredients, Vegetable Glycerine, Pharma Grade Propylene Glycol and Food flavouring.
It is important to reiterate here that the legitimate Vape industry is in full support of deterring minors from picking up vaping, especially if they are not smokers, but it is also important to cast a positive light on the benefits Vaping has and will continue to have on the Smoking rates in the country. Further adjustments in legislation need to be considered to ensure quality regulated products are better accessed by smokers.