VAPE: The ‘vaping ban’ has been shifted to 2021 but experts still have concerns about what that means for vapers.
VAPE: The ‘vaping ban’ has been shifted to 2021 but experts still have concerns about what that means for vapers.

Ban on vaping could drive people back to cigarettes

EXPERTS remain concerned about the possibility of former smokers returning to cigarettes once the vaping ban starts from January 2021.

Initially, Health Minister Greg Hunt declared importing nicotine for vaping products would be banned from July 1 2020.

But backlash against the decision meant the move was deterred until 2021.

Despite the shift there are still concerns about the possibility of regression from ex-smokers, according to James Cook University research fellow Dr Aaron Drovandi.

“The main reason why there’s been such controversy about it, is cigarette smoking we know is bad (for our health) ... whereas vaping, the health consequences are a bit uncertain and many people have used vaping to quit conventional smoking,” he said.

“When this ban was announced, a lot of people that did quit conventional cigarettes were concerned that they would return to smoking because they wouldn’t have access to their vaping products.”

Vaping is relatively new in comparison to cigarettes, which means studies about the health impacts as a result of consumption are few and far between.

“We don’t know a great deal about the short term and long term risks associated with vaping, there is a lot of research ongoing but because these products are quite new and ethically it can be challenging to expose people to vaping products, it is a process that is going to take quite a few more years before we get a decent understanding,” Dr Drovandi said.

Despite this, Dr Drovandi said that the ideal solution would be for people to move off both addictions prior to the ban beginning next year.

“It needs to be more of a gradual shift, where people who have quit conventional cigarettes are also given the chance to quit vaping products rather than suddenly … it was a step in the right direction but a step too quickly.”

If any vapers would like to share their thoughts on the ban, contact adam.daunt@northernstar.com.au


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