Spectator (AU): How opponents of vaping aid and abet Big Tobacco

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Big Tobacco’s little helpers
Health organisations such as the Cancer Council and the Australian Medical Association have an understandable antipathy for Big Tobacco and want to see it punished. However, their continued opposition to vaping is perversely having the opposite effect. They are protecting the industry from competition from a disruptive technology which could help eliminate the scourge of combustible tobacco.

Harsh restrictions, such as on flavour bans and the requirement for a doctor’s prescription, will make vaping a less attractive proposition. Fewer smokers will switch to vaping, the much safer alternative. Many vapers will return to smoking.

Highly restrictive regulatory barriers also favour the tobacco industry. For example approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration is enormously costly and onerous. This is a gift to Big Tobacco with its enormous cash flow and will eliminate most of the small to medium players in the market.

This opposition by governments, health charities and medical organisations to vaping will undermine the best opportunity in decades to eliminate deadly cigarettes. Big Tobacco can resume its lucrative cartel and people will continue to die from smoking.

With enemies like these, Big Tobacco does not need friends.

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