Australia could become the first major nation to outlaw smoking, with a federal government-funded trial about to test the viability of electronic cigarettes as a safer, permanent replacement for tobacco.
Medical experts, cancer groups and anti-smoking lobbyists battled for decades to rid cigarettes from public spaces.
The Sun-Herald can reveal that as part of its anti-smoking reform agenda, the previous Labor government committed more than $1 million to a pioneering study that, by 2015, will determine whether or not e-cigarettes could be utilised to phase out traditional cigarettes altogether.Now, on reading it, I had serious doubts about this as being true (in fact, it made me laugh so abruptly that the cat scarpered for the back door) for a number of reasons.
Firstly, some of the loudest critics of e-cigs have been anti-tobacco fanatics in Australia.
The "science" of e-cigarettes:gushing anecdotes from 11 self-selected vapers. This was actually published ascpjournal.org/content/8/1/5/…
— Simon Chapman (@SimonChapman6) March 8, 2013
So much so, that you'd be hard pressed to find an Aussie in their tobacco control industry who doesn't view them as created by Satan for his henchmen on Earth to lure kids to an early grave.
So such a sudden about-turn in policy is quite inconceivable, especially from a Labor administration, and double especially since the pharmaceutical marketing department - otherwise known as the World Health Organisation - is still dictating to gullible idiot politicians that e-cigs are baaad, m'kay.
Secondly, no matter how much governments whinge and pontificate about tobacco, making it illegal so abruptly leaves a massive hole in their budgets, one which they would have no idea how to fill without hammering their citizens with taxes which could only possibly lead to their being destroyed at the ballot box. Yes, even the most hateful anti-tobacco MP knows full well that costs to the health system are minute compared with the vital injection of cash that fags provide to their coffers (they are knowingly lying when they claim otherwise).
Another reason is perfectly illustrated in the comments:
"Lungs are made to breathe natural atmospheric air,not pollutants of any kind, and smoke or vapour is not their designed operating condition." - Kane
"I am very allergic to cigarette smoke. It causes my throat to constrict and triggers uncontrollable coughing and breathing problems. Substituting cigarettes with nicotine vapour does not address the issue. It panders to nicotine addicts and continues to expose the community to poison." - Severely Affected
"Common sense says e-cigs should be banned in public for the simple reason that nicotine is an extremely addictive substance and therefore we do not want to give the impression that they are socially acceptable or in any way cool." - StBobYou see, there is far too much stupid around (created by the tobacco control industry, it has to be said) for any government to even consider such a move right now.
Changing attitudes towards e-cigs would have to come first, and even then you're looking at a decade or more of turning around the giant tanker of nicotine denormalisation which hordes of professional, publicly-funded tobacco control execs have made their stock-in-trade for their entire careers. That is a generational shift which would take a massive amount of resources to effect.
And what is the huge investment here? A laughable $1m. That's the kind of money governments lose behind a backbencher's mistress's sofa.
Besides, why would any government - let alone the Aussie one which includes some regions where you can be fined thousands for possession of e-liquid, remember - be thinking of opposing their public health puppets; severely depriving their treasury of cash; creating the mother of all criminal black markets; pissing off the WHO; confusing the bovine in their citizenry; and guaranteeing electoral disaster, when such a result looks to be occurring organically anyway.
Reynolds American Inc. may have just eight more years as a predominant traditional cigarette manufacturer if a leading tobacco analyst’s revenue projections about electronic cigarettes prove accurate.
Bonnie Herzog, with Wells Fargo Securities, has estimated Reynolds will have $4 billion in revenue from e-cigs in 2021 compared with $3.9 billion from conventional cigarettes.Ain't that free market clever? It's almost like it knows better than governments what people actually want, eh?
So, considering the above, I wasn't too surprised to learn that the Sydney Morning Herald article was nothing but fantasy horse shit.
A front page article in the Sun Herald newspaper on Sunday 15 November (sic) presented incorrect information about electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes) research at The University of Queensland.
The government had no input into the design of the trial and the decision to fund the study was based on the independent NHMRC panel's scores.
The research is being conducted independently of government. The purpose of the trial is to test the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation by comparing their effectiveness in helping smokers to quit with traditional cessation aids such as nicotine gum and inhalators.
To characterise this independent university research as part of a previous government's “anti-smoking reform agenda” is simply incorrect.Nothing to see here, people. Politicians may be idiots, but they're not that stupid ... even Labor ones ... even in Australia.