A little-known law aimed at stopping confectioners from making children’s musk sticks look like cigarettes, is stopping one of the best ‘quit’ campaigns ever devised in Australia.
On World Free Tobacco Day, Australian governments still enforce ridiculous ‘lolly laws’ which make it illegal in three Australian states to sell nicotine-free electronic cigarettes.
The major supplier of e cigarettes in Australia, Elusion Pty Ltd has begun a national campaign in conjunction with Australia’s adults only association, the Eros Association, to bring about meaningful law reform.
Eros CEO, Fiona Patten, said that despite spending millions of taxpayers dollars on anti-smoking campaigns and providing financial support to the World Health Organisation’s
‘World Free Tobacco Day’ on 31st May 2012, governments had taken the advice of well-intentioned but short-sighted child advocacy groups in banning e cigarettes. “We believe that if this product was as widely used as nicotine patches and gum, that smoking rates would come down noticeably”, she said. “Laws that favour nicotine replacement therapies using gum and patches but discriminate against other effective delivery mechanism are anti-competitive and we will be asking the ACCC to investigate this”.
Elusion Managing Director, John Burden, said electronic cigarettes contain none of the 4,000 harmful chemicals that have been scientifically identified in traditional cigarettes. “They simply allow smokers to inhale a realistic vapour that looks like smoke, as a substitute to cigarette smoke but in a way that satisfies all the other behavioural aspects of smoking”, he said. “In this way people are able to withstand the ravages of giving up cigarettes through a proven placebo, with no harmful effects. For those who are particularly addicted to nicotine, the e cigarettes can also be supplied with nicotine cartridges so that they act in a similar way to nicotine patches and gum”.
In New Zealand electronic cigarettes have been embraced as a proven method of helping to reduce the number of smoking related deaths and disease. “In New Zealand customers can purchase electronic cigarettes in supermarkets, chemist’s, service stations from corner delis and many other retail outlets,” Mr Burden said. “Australian consumers can currently only get hold of these products by purchasing them online – and while we aim to make it as easy as we can with our online ordering system, there is no substitute for the convenience of buying from a local shop or supermarket.”
Ms Patten said she would soon issue a memo to the 3,000 adults-only retail outlets in Australia advising them to consider an act of civil disobedience in those states that had passed the ‘Lolly Laws’ and retailing the new e cigarettes. ‘This is a public health matter that governments have simply stuffed up’, she said. ‘There is no evidence anywhere to suggest that when these products are sold from age-restricted premises, that children will see adults using them and then somehow be encouraged to smoke real cigarettes.’
She said the opposite was the case. ‘e-cigarettes need to be charged from a USB, they need to be fitted to a cartridge with or without nicotine and then affixed’, she said. ‘It’s nothing like pulling out a cigarette and lighting it with a match. This is more akin to diabetic using insulin. Children are not stupid in these matters like adults often are’.
Elusion Electronic Cigarettes are currently funding research into the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation device. The research, which is being conducted by Associate Professor Chris Bullen of Research Centre at Auckland University involves a randomised control trial of the electronic cigarette to see what effect it has on people trying to quit smoking.
1. ( Lolly Law)- Section 106 – This law was written for Fags lollies – Not electronic Cigarettes
Section 106 of the Act states:
106. Products resembling tobacco products etc. not to be sold
A person must not sell any food, toy or other product that is not a tobacco product but is —
(a) designed to resemble a tobacco product or a package; or
(b) in packaging that is designed to resemble a tobacco product or a package.
2. Over 4000 less chemicals than traditional cigarettes –it’s a healthier alternative to smoking
3. No passive smoke
4. Cheaper than conventional cigarettes
5. Research currently under way and funded by industry
6. Let Australian’s make their own choices and avoid the Nanny state