Spokesperson on Coal Seam Gas, Mining, Agriculture, Biosecurity, Sport, Climate Change but not really on Health

In a rare display of self-restraint, I decided to hold off putting my thoughts down on this one, not because I didn’t want to. I held off mainly because I’ve had a lot of other advocacy stuff to do locally along with my usual 9-5.  More on the local advocacy in another post I think. I digress, in the first sentence too!

New South Wales, Australia. Come with me on a little journey, if you will and let’s see what insanity awaits.

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“Flouting the law” Oh.

Despite the rather bizarre tweet I just had to have a read of the “media release” and I really, really wished I hadn’t now.

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the sale of E-cigarettes flouted at least two laws, posed a danger in re-normalising smoking, and called on the NSW government to move more quickly to ensure  E-cigarettes are regulated as tobacco is regulated.

Of course, this is Australia where pretty much anything enjoyable is questioned and/or banned. I mean I really wanted to head there to see a particular show they put on over there, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t going to run, because it contained smoking. Oh FFS. It’s almost as bad as getting Hollywood to stop putting smoking in movies. Oh wait.

So the Australian Greens are as bad, if not worse than their UK counterparts if this is the kind of drivel they spout.

“The Greens are very concerned that big tobacco is using e-cigarettes to re-normalise smoking and attract non-smokers and young people to take up an addictive and potentially harmful product, said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Last time I checked, there is half a dozen electronic cigarettes from “Big Tobacco” out there in the vapour product market. Out of hundreds. Anyway, there has been, and continues to be surveys and studies performed on the mythical gateway effect that these people morons are ‘concerned’ about, and so far not one of them can conclude that vaping renormalises smoking, nor does it attract non-smokers (at least not statistically significantly). Also, the science to date has shown that whilst not 100% safe, vaping is safer than smoking, which let’s face it is exactly what kids would do if vapour products weren’t available. A complete and total non-starter to this delightful chaps “Media Release”.

“It is illegal to sell nicotine, a Schedule 7 dangerous poison, other than as an official therapeutic good under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.  It is also illegal to sell products that resemble cigarettes under Section 21 of the Public Heath (Tobacco) Act 2008.

I can’t speak to the Schedule 7 dangerous poison specifically as it seems each country has its own classification on how “dangerous” nicotine is. What got me in this part was the “it is also illegal to sell products that resemble cigarettes”. Uh, excuse me?

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Resembling cigarettes

Now unless I’m going completely and utterly bonkers insane, neither of those look anything like a cigarette do they? No, I didn’t think so. I don’t know where this Jez is getting his ideas from, but I have a pretty good idea.

In addition, E-cigarettes are not captured by the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, meaning they can be used anywhere without breaking the law, including in schools or on buses.  Interestingly NSW Health introduced a state-wide policy banning the use of e-cigarettes at NSW Health facilities, recognising the potential health and safety risks.

Bit of a kicker this one, can’t legally sell them, but it isn’t technically illegal to use them. Talk about getting the whole thing arse about-face here. I mean, I know Australia is down under, and everything is pretty much backwards anyway, but this is just daft. (For the record, I know a few Aussie vapers, and have huge respect for them, I am not poking fun at the whole country 😉 )

“Big tobacco is clearly trying to make smoking cool and sexy, with flavours, colours, and marketing that appeal to young people.  Marketing an addictive product in this way should not be allowed to occur and the government should act.

Again with the freaking labels. Repeat after me. Big Tobacco Doesn’t Exist. It’s a label created by tobacco control to give them a target, a means to slander an entire industry in two words. I hate the label and try not to use it.  Unfortunately, he is partially right in this case. E-Liquid vendors have a hard time, but they are definitely creating some questionable labelling and advertising which may make it seem that they are targeting youngsters, but they really are not. At least I hope they aren’t.

“Marketing an addictive product…” really, this chap should learn to read the evidence before he puts something in writing (although the same could be said of me sometimes), there has been a study published in Addiction (I believe) that refute this particular claim.

“should not be allowed to occur and the government should act” Oh pray tell, exactly how would you like them to ‘act’ ?

“The NSW government has brought in legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and the Greens support this, but this is a bare minimum and I urge them to work quickly to introduce further legislation.

“The Greens believe e-cigarettes should be treated like real cigarettes, with the same regulations, restrictions and prohibitions.  Tobacco has caused too much damage, sadness, suffering and death.  The re-normalisation of smoking should not be allowed to occur and must be nipped in the bud.

WowJustWow

Of course. It would seem that this poor deluded chap is a bit behind the times. ‘renormalisation’ my ass. In the meantime..

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said she was pleased illegal liquid nicotine products were being seized and taken off the market, adding “we are modernising the poisons legislation to make it easier to prosecute, where necessary”.

Instead of actually conducting proper scientific research or even, God forbid, supporting vapour products as a means to completely eliminate tobacco use they are instead making it easier for the state to prosecute.

Nothing says “congratulations for not smoking” better than a prosecution does it?

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