Terra Australis. Oz. The Land Down Under. Australia.
Whatever you choose to call it, according to official statistics 17% of those who call it home, smoke. We are told that smoking kills over 15,000 of us every year and that it’s never too late to quit. Speak to your doctor. Talk to your pharmacist. If you can’t quit by yourself then we’re told that using a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) will double your chances! What we aren’t told is that NRT really doesn’t work very well without medical supervision and ongoing counselling. Research suggests that the majority of people who try quitting this way will be back on the smokes within 18 months.
The other thing we’re not being told is there is an alternative. You don’t have to quit cigarettes in order to stop smoking. You just need to switch.
Australia is stuck with an interesting dilemma when it comes to electronic cigarettes. They are not outright banned – retailers can sell the hardware and liquid – just not if it contains nicotine. Nicotine is a scheduled poison in this country and can only be sold without a license inside smoking tobacco, for veterinary usage, or as an approved medicine. Fortunately for Australian smokers, it can be imported for personal usage.
Although some studies have shown that even without nicotine electronic cigarettes can help some people quit, it’s commonly accepted that nicotine is the reason people smoke. Without nicotine, they can only do half the job and as a result very few main street retailers carry them beyond a handful of disposables (nicotine free of course) as a gimmick, at some dedicated tobacconists. Many doctors in this country haven’t even heard of them, or if they have, know very little about them.
World Vaping Day is the perfect opportunity to change this. We encourage every Aussie vaper to get out to the pub or their local club on Thursday 22nd of March. Just two people can be a meetup. Don’t hide in the smoker’s corner: vape openly, and you can be sure somebody will come and ask you about it (if only to tell you that “you can’t smoke in here”). This is the perfect way to introduce somebody to a product that could well save their life. Of course, if after you tell them all about it they still want you go outside – don’t argue! Unlike smoking it’s a venue’s choice if they allow it or not, and that’s exactly as it should be.
If you’d like more information about electronic cigarettes in Australia, or you’d like to get involved, come visit us at the ATACA website. It’s free to join and together we can spread the word – and start saving lives.
“Our Lives – Our Future”