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WK16_17 Smoke-Free 2021

Helping Australia Leave Cigarettes Behind in 2021

The National Retail Association is proposes a realistic plan to transition Australia out of dangerous cigarettes with the creation of new laws to govern the manufacture, distribution and sale of less harmful smoke-free alternative, including e-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products. 

Our plan will: 

Reduce Harm – The use of smoke-free nicotine products has been shown to be significantly less harmful than smoking cigarettes. 

Help Australian Smokers – Less harmful products should not be more difficult to obtain than cigarettes to help smokers switch, but this is exactly what the Federal Government is proposing. 

Protect Australian Kids – Strict consumer protections need to be applied to all nicotine products to protect users and prevent youth or non-smoker uptake, this is not the case at present. 

THE FACTS 

  • Over 3 million Australians still smoke. 
  • Each year smoking related diseases kills 21,000 Australians and costs the economy more than $130 billion. 
  • The Australian Government has tried multiple methods to reduce smoking rates but smoking rates are no longer going down like they once were. 
  • Australian health authorities state that alternatives like nicotine vapes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco are less harmful than smoking. 
  • Smoke-free alternatives are regulated and available for sale in over 50 countries, including New Zealand, the UK, the US, Canada and Japan. Smoking rates in are now reducing faster in many of these countries than in Australia. 
  • Health authorities, including Britain’s National Health Service, state that these alternatives are helping people to quit smoking. 
  • Over 500,000 Australians currently vape, but Australian laws have not kept pace with the development of this less harmful technology, meaning Australian businesses are the only ones who cannot sell to Australians. 
  • 20,000 retail outlets, many of them small or family businesses, who sell tobacco products are heavily reliant on the income but they want to transition out of cigarettes without going out of business. 
  • The Federal Government is currently considering a scheme to make vaping products prescription only and even then only available from a pharmacy.  
  • The Government’s plan is the worst of both worlds, it will mean that 500,000 existing vapers (who have already quit smoking) will clog up GP waiting rooms, making it harder for the sick, frail and elderly to get an appointment, whilst experts say that the Government’s plan would result in some vapers going back to smoking.