Katarina Perkovic outlines where the nanny state has shot it self in the leg, by banning safe and healthy smoking alternatives.
Disregard science and let’s push research further down the priority list – whilst we’re at it, let’s just ban e-cigarettes all together before the market decides where its true place lies.
E-cigarettes are the free market solution for those that want to quit smoking. A study in Nicotine and Tobacco Research has suggested that E-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths from smoking related diseases in those born after 1997. With the growing popularity of such a product, we know what can be expected – government intervention and more nanny state laws. Australian laws surrounding e-cigarettes are some of the most complex and strict in the world. Whilst freely available as consumer products in the UK, Australia currently has a ban on selling and supplying nicotine e-liquid, due to a historical classification of nicotine as a schedule 7 dangerous poison.
This comes to no surprise, as the Australia public health lobby is notorious for their arrogance in accepting evidence, and their belief that certain people in power know better than the rest for us. All of this of course justifies introducing laws established on the basis of acting ‘for the greater good.’ Aside from the name, there are not many similarities between traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
The Australian Council on Smoking and Health have said that some research shows that whilst e-cigarettes are an effective cessation aid, they can normalise smoking and encourage young people to take up the real thing. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey, where it was found that adolescent use of e-cigarettes was growing at a steady rate, however with this came a drastic drop in use of normal tobacco cigarettes.
An article published in August 2014 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health concluded, “The use of (e-cigarettes) can reduce the number of cigarettes smoked and withdrawal symptoms…”. Cancer Research expert and one of the authors of the Public Health UK study, Linda Bauld, stated that “Fears that e-cigarettes have made smoking seem normal again or even led to people taking up tobacco smoking are not so far being realized… In fact, the overall evidence points to e-cigarettes actually helping people to give up smoking tobacco”.
Increasing laws and regulations surrounding e-cigarettes will only damage the natural process of the free market. Government should be encouraging research, not seizing progress in such a life-saving innovative industry.
Katarina Perkovic is a 2nd year business student currently interning for the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance