"Vapers’ Perspectives on Electronic Cigarette Regulation in Australia"
(study conducted by Dr Coral Gartner and associates from the University of Queensland)
Australia's vaping culture is already firmly entrenched and grows larger daily, so it's inevitable that the next big issue will be : "To Nic Or Not To Nic. That is the question".
While liquids containing nicotine remain unauthorised and e-cigs themselves walking a fine line in some States, the Government must soon be forced to look more closely at legislation and approval for e-cigs and liquids. And this is where it gets disturbing from my perspective.
Dr Gartner's study shows the attitudes of a section of the vaping community (on-line volunteers made up the sample group) who pretty much agree that we'd be happy to have e-cigs and liquids regulated with minimum standards for labelling, packaging and quality (but not if it's going to restrict what we can buy), over 18's only and not prescription only. Universally, there's some fear attached to the eventual pricing levels. Seems we're a suspicious lot and have some questions as to the Government's motives when it comes to setting the pricing rules for e-cigs. Many feel that they'll go for broke (and maximum profit) by pricing them using current tobacco legislation, meaning e-liquids could end up costing the same as (or more than) a packet of cigarettes. The other topic making vaping chat rooms everywhere melt down is what happens if they DON'T approve nicotine use in e-liquids? Both of these scenarios have the potential to send even the most dedicated vaper straight back to analogs.
So what's the point of this post anyway ... If vaping is to have a place in Australia, then vapers themselves must be part of the consultation process for any new legislation. Problem is, we don't have a unified voice ... yet ... And a major concern from my point of view (and heaps of other people too) is what stance will our Government take; will they blaze a logical trail despite what other countries are doing and seek consultation with vapers themselves or follow America and the UK's poor examples? (this may largely depend on who's in the hot seat at the time). So how do we get a unified voice to speak for us? I think that the first step is to make ourselves known, let Australia see that we're not just a few radicals, but an ever-growing and established community. We haven't taken up e-cigs blindly, we've done our research and we understand vaping, the benefits of vaping and whatever downside each of us has found in using an e-cig (can't say I can think of any specific downside off the top of my head ... unless you include being hassled out by Security the last time I visited a friend in hospital after the new legislation was introduced in Qld).
I'm asking you to do a couple of things for me, for you too really ... well, for all of the vaping community if you want to get technical; if you're invited to take part in any e-cig research, do it! (unless health or some other serious issue prevents you). Join Change.org to keep an eye out for petitions that will start to circulate, (pretty soon would be my guess) add your name and send it on to everyone you know ... send it on to people you don't know if that rocks your boat ... start your own petition! Share your thoughts on-line, in social media and chat rooms, start the conversation and let people know that we're not going away ... Vaping is the new way to smoke.
And there it is ... United We Stand. Divided We Fall. Your thoughts?