Canberra kowtows to big tobacco and big pharma

The Australian Government must rely too heavily on its obnoxious tobacco tax by its immoral behaviour in preventing the nation’s smokers from quitting the habit, Australia One leader Riccardo Bosi said today.

And now, the Federal Department of Health, using the COVID-19 pandemic as a cover, has dramatically escalated its war on vapers by proposing draconian changes to the laws that govern where and how vaping products can be sold in Australia.

“It is bad enough that vapers have for some years needed to import their nicotine liquid from grown-up nations that recognise vaping as an effective quitting tool, but to prevent quitters from purchasing all products is unconscionable,” Mr Bosi said.

“It seems a few deaths in the US of idiots who filled their vaping tanks with synthetic cannabis has caused our Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, to clutch his pearls and send Australia in the opposite direction of research and the rest of the world.

“Is Minister Hunt and the Liberal National coalition government in bed with the big pharmaceutical and tobacco companies, who have been gazumped by independent manufacturers of vaping products, and who sell their products at a fraction of the price of legal nicotine patches, gum, pills and tobacco itself that can be readily purchased.”

Mr Bosi said he was very familiar with one personal case study of a woman who had been a two-packet-a-day smoker for more than 40 years.

“This woman spent a fortune on all the known methods to quit, from medically prescribed nicotine patches and pills, to gum and even hypnotherapy,” he said.

“She told me that all pharmaceutical methods had failed but she did have some success, albeit a mere five months, from hypnotherapy.

“More than six years ago, she made a “cold turkey” transition to vaping with no withdrawal side effects and has been happily vaping ever since.

“She tells me her vaping habit costs her about $200 each year and this cost includes all postage — a far cry from the $20,000 or so she would be contributing in sales tax if she had continued to smoke.

“It’s a no brainer.

“If the Australian Government was sincere in its desire to reduce the rate of tobacco-related cancer deaths, it would legalise vaping immediately.

“If the Australian Government was genuine in its respect for individuals’ freedom of choice to live their lives as they wish, it would legalise vaping immediately.

“If the Australian Government was truthful in its stated goal of reducing taxes, it would legalise vaping immediately.

“But they won’t and we have to ask ourselves ‘why not’?”