As vaping sweeps around the globe, more and more countries are choosing vapor over smoke. One country that has seen a significant rise in both vaporizer use and controversy is Australia.
Although it is illegal to purchase and sell vapor products in many parts of Australia, it is legal to order vaporizers from other countries and have them imported.
FORMER SMOKERS CONNECT ONLINE
With the rising number of people using vaporizers in Australia, a number of online communities have popped up that are dedicated to helping the culture grow and thrive. One of those outlets, AussieVapers.com, has grown tremendously in recent years, giving a boost to the Australian vape culture.
Boasting more than 15,000 active users and a forum with over 700,000 posts, this forum is one the best places for new and seasoned vapers alike to find information about vaping, exchange tips about the many nuances of e-liquid, and organize local meet-ups to discuss the joys of vaping.
One of the more popular sections of the forum is dedicated to people sharing their stories about vaping and how they used it as a tool to quit smoking cigarettes. This section has spurned many users to take to YouTube to share their successes with using vaping as a tool to quit. Combining the supportive environment along with the many hobby-like aspects of vaping, and you’ve got a community of Australians coming together to help lower the number one cause of preventable death in the land down under, cigarettes.
THE OPPONENTS OF VAPING
While much of the Australian population has happily joined the vapor movement, some lawmakers are not too keen on the idea. In some Australian states, selling nicotine can result in the same punishment as selling heroin.
As anyone with even the slightest inkling of common sense can attest, nicotine and heroin are not the same. With the recent introduction of “lockout laws” in Sydney that force bars to close their doors at 1:30 AM and the mandatory requirement of cyclists to wear helmets, a few voices have screamed in protest that the land of Oz is becoming a “Nanny State,” overly concerned with the small freedoms their citizens enjoy.
A senate inquiry into personal choice and community impacts met on March 9th, 2016, to discuss the legality of vaporizers in Australia and hear testimony as to why they should be made legal. Terry Barnes, a prominent political consultant and weekly columnist for ABC, feels as though these laws are another example of the “Nanny State” wielding their powerful, and often annoying, hand. He feels as though the science behind vaping is obvious enough to make a simple choice.
“It’s clear they are a far lower risk to both users and people around them (than regular cigarettes). If they are relatively safe, or if the risks are negligible, we should be giving them a go,” he said.
THE FIGHT FOR CHANGE
Terry Barnes is not alone in his battle for the legality of electronic cigarettes. The New Nicotine Alliance Australia is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving public health by providing a better understanding of nicotine and the potential risk-reducing options for consuming it.
The New Nicotine Alliance Australia views vaping as more than just a method of quitting smoking, but a way in which smoking can be made totally obsolete. In their words, “A public health revolution that saves a billion lives.”
Visit nnalliance.org.au to find out more about the Australian vaping revolution the organization hopes to start.
AUSTRALIAN VAPE LAWS
The vaporizer laws in Australia are literally all over the map. They vary from state to state and can lead to serious penalties if the laws are broken. Find out more about the specific laws in each state with this handy infographic from ozvapour.com.
Written by Luke Sipka