Despite support from some MPs, e-cigarettes are still banned in Australia following a year-long inquiry where a parliamentary committee has failed to agree and change the country’s e-cigarette laws.
Instead of changing e-cigarette laws, the committee’s report wants further investigation into the health impacts of vaping, e-liquids and to further review e-cig regulations around the world.
Despite the government’s position on vaping in Australia, there seems to be growing support among lawmakers to reverse the current laws and attitudes towards e-cigs.
During the 12-month period, the committee heard and conversed with the medical community and big tobacco to help determine their decision. However, they were unable to agree and vaping remains banned in Australia.
In February, an Australian senator boarded the pro-vaping ‘Vape Force One’ van outside parliament in protest.
Furthermore, the committee chair Trent Zimmerman with his Liberal party colleague Tim Wilson produced a report criticising the conclusion and want to see e-cigarettes legalised in Australia.
“The committee has been presented with starkly conflicting views during this inquiry and I respect those committee members who have formed different judgements to my own,” Zimmerman wrote.
“I do, however, strongly disagree with the conclusions reached by the majority of my colleagues.
“… While the evidence base regarding e-cigarettes is still emerging, there are clear indications that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to human health than smoking tobacco cigarettes. If long-term smokers who have been unable to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes switch to e-cigarettes, thousands of lives could be saved.”
Moreover, in one of the shortest official reports in Australian parliamentary history, Queensland MP Andrew Laming simply said: “Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping”.
With such growing support for e-cigarettes in Australia among lawmakers, it’s highly unlikely that this matter will go away anytime soon.