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Cigarettes and Vaping in Australia

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posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:00 AM
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For the last several years, and up until 2020, the Australia government has been increasing the price of cigarettes by 12.5% every year. It just went up again some time in the last few days, and we're now paying almost $50 AUD (around $35 USD) for a 30 pack of cigarettes. Back in 2016 I wrote a thread titled Debunking a Nanny State Notion: Social Engineering with Taxes which points out how taxes on things like smokes and sugary drinks really aren't an effective deterrent for unhealthy living choices. In this thread I want to focus more on how this is really hurting the poorest sectors of our population and how it relates to the vaping debate.

We now have the highest cigarette prices in the world yet the number of smokers has actually increased in the last couple of years, presumably due to the poor condition our economy is currently in. People are stressed out because they can barely afford the cost of living. I have several friends who smoke and there is virtually no chance they will stop smoking despite the fact they have a lot of money problems. It is the stress they experience every day which gets them so addicted to smoking, it's one of the only ways they know how to feel relaxed. I grew up in places that weren't exactly rich, my parents were always fighting over money and they were heavy smokers.

Here is an article I found from last year which does a good job of explaining how unfair this is for certain communities:

Cigarette prices have doubled in Australia since 2008 and are now the highest in the world. A 20-pack of Marlboro costs an eye-watering $27 in Australia or $9,855 per year for a pack-a-day smoker. In Australian dollars, the same pack costs only $16.67 in the UK, $9.51 in the US and $1.47 in Vietnam.

Increasing tobacco taxes is a proven strategy for reducing smoking rates but appears to be having a diminishing effect at these stratospheric levels. There remains a population of addicted smokers who will continue to smoke no matter what the price.

Despite annual price increases, there was no significant fall in Australian smoking rates from 2013 to 2016, according to the 3-yearly National Drug Strategy Household Surveys. Adult smoking rates increased in New South Wales from 13.5% to 15.1% between 2015 and 2016, and national cigarette consumption rose in 2017 for the first time in a decade according to the National Accounts.

Tobacco excise delivered a massive $12.5 billion to government coffers in the last financial year. However, this tax is particularly cruel at a time of zero wage growth. High prices exploit the most marginalised members of the community, such as low income groups, Indigenous people and people with substance use and mental illness.

Tobacco tax rise exploits and punishes addicted smokers


These rich idiots making these taxes really have no concept of the damage they are doing. It's crystal clear the motivation for these taxes is purely about the money and has nothing to do with actually helping people stop smoking. The interesting thing about this article from last year is that it highlights all the benefits that e-cigarettes / vaping has over normal cigarettes, including the fact it's 95% healthier. What makes this truly ironic is that e-liquids containing nicotine are banned in Australia, so smokers trying to quit don't even have the option to switch to vaping unless they seek out a prescription from a doctor, and I'm guessing that isn't a straight forward process.


However, there is now a viable alternative: vaping. Nicotine vaporisers (e-cigarettes) provide the nicotine that smokers are addicted to but without the tar and carbon monoxide that cause almost all the harm to health. Importantly they also replicate the smoking ritual and provide some of the pleasure and habit that makes quitting so difficult.

Nothing on this planet is risk free but at a minimum of 95 per cent less harmful, vaporisers are far safer than smoking and have helped millions of smokers quit overseas. Vaping with nicotine is legal in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, US and the EU. In Australia nicotine e-liquid is effectively banned but it can be legally imported or purchased from an Australian compounding pharmacy if the user has a prescription from a medical practitioner.


It's also illegal to use vapes in most public places and if you're under the age of 18. I have absolutely no issue with those laws, people don't want to smell your vape clouds in public places and kids shouldn't really be doing it. However, keeping cigarettes legal while making nicotine containing e-liquids illegal is completely absurd, and is obviously a tactic to keep people smoking normal cigarettes so the government can keep raking in that juicy tax money. If they truly cared about the health of people they would realize vaping is massively safer and could prevent a huge amount of deaths every year.

I did some searches on the vaping issue in Australia and all I could really find were ridiculous reports such as this one from ABC News. The entire thing is just fearmongering around the issue of kids getting into vaping, using words like "epidemic" to describe the increase in vaping, despite that fact more teens smoke real cigarettes and consume alcohol. They use the recent vaping deaths as a justification for their dumb position on the issue, despite it being clear that the deaths were caused by smoking dodgy THC based e-liquids, and not products produced by legitimate businesses which ensure their products are safe.

There are tens of thousands of people who die in Australia every year due to smoking real cigarettes, so when they hype up a small number of vape related deaths it's clear to see that it's nothing but propaganda. I don't even vape, I've never even tried one, but it's clear to see these devices save a huge number of lives by offering a substantially safer way to get a nicotine hit. Nicotine is much like caffeine, it's a stimulant and doesn't really do any harm when taken using safe methods. Countless people are addicted to coffee but we don't run around like idiots calling it an epidemic. It really comes down to perception and optics with these "think of the kids" arguments.

It has nothing to do with facts and logic, it's simply that the image of kids smoking stirs up an emotional reaction within them because they've been ideologically conditioned to view it as something that could never be safe or useful to people trying to quit smoking real death sticks. It's a completely insidious and almost evil authoritarian way of thinking, I understand they might think it's "for the greater good" but they really need to step back see how this contradicts and often overrides their ideologies which are based on personal liberty. This "quit or die" approach the Australian government uses is highly dangerous and doesn't help the greater good.




posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:12 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I'm all for making them illegal...nanny state or not..they cause cancer and that's that..lead paint is no longer produced because of it's negative health issues...and yet not everybody became sick from lead paint...but we agreee as a society that there is no benefit from it's use and the same could be said for cigarettes...or if someone really cares make the cigarettes free of chemicals...why doesn't the governments outlaw just the additives?



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:21 AM
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Cigarettes kill about half a million people just in the United States each year and it's been that way for decades.

By way of comparison the current news stories and swift Federal attention are the cause of six deaths and a handful of a few hundred illnesses, largely ( as stated in the OP ) attributed to people using vaporizers to inhale black market cannabinoids that were processed with sketchy methods. Some of the illnesses are also attributable to other factors such as preexisting medical conditions like asthma, for example.

It's not at all difficult to see that there's something going on here and that it's likely more based in an agenda than upon the actual metrics.
edit on 9/12/19 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:24 AM
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a reply to: chrismarco


why doesn't the governments outlaw just the additives?

Why don't they just make cigarettes illegal if they are so dead set on making people quit? The answer is obviously the huge amount of tax money they get from it. They couldn't care less about the harm it does, and that's what truly annoys me. If they did care it wouldn't be illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine, the only reason to make it illegal is to keep people using a highly dangerous form of nicotine intake, because that way they make a lot more money. They cannot really justify ridiculously high taxes on e-cigarettes because it's so much safer, so they simply wont allow it in the market. And that is pure evil in my book, there's no excuse or rationality which can possibly justify that logic.

As for the nanny state issue, people will always find a way to buy real cigarettes even if they are made illegal. They will simply look to the black market as a solution, which is already a huge issue in Australia. People illegally importing tobacco into Australia can make millions on a single shipment because it's so astronomically expensive in Australia, and our government spends millions on "tobacco strike teams" to prevent it, but a large number of smokers still manage to buy cheap illegal cigarettes. It's the same as the war on drugs, people will always find a way and by making things illegal you force people into the much riskier black market, which results in more deaths, criminals getting rich, and the government losing money it could have made from legitimate sales.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:28 AM
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I used to see Australia as a freedom packed place, where a man could make whatever life he wanted. Sure looks like I was wrong on that. Despite the quebit states of NY, CAli, and Washington, the US is still a fairly free place, getting freer by the day.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:41 AM
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a reply to: Plotus


I used to see Australia as a freedom packed place, where a man could make whatever life he wanted. Sure looks like I was wrong on that.

It's definitely not a valid description of Australia these days, we have transformed into one the biggest authoritarian nanny states on the planet. I wrote a thread a few months ago which goes deeper into that topic: Australia: From Convicts to Crybabies. At this rate I'm highly tempted to move to the U.S. because you guys actually still have some respect for liberty and freedom.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 09:45 AM
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originally posted by: Hefficide

It's not at all difficult to see that there's something going on here and that it's likely more based in an agenda than upon the actual metrics.

I agree, although I'm not entirely sure what the agenda behind the anti-vaping rhetoric in the U.S. is since the tobacco companies seem to have large stakes in vaping companies. It's very clear what the agenda in Australia is though, and it's keeping people smoking real cigarettes so they can maintain the massive tax revenue they get from it. I don't really see any other reason, the "think of the kids" argument really holds no weight, especially if it's illegal for people under 18.

It's like saying we should ban alcohol because kids might get a hold of it. They do indeed get a hold of it, but instead of allowing our emotions to get the best of us, we realize that is the price to pay for freedom and liberty. We'd rather be allowed to have a drink with friends than try to ban it because of whiny idiots who don't like to see kids drinking. Trading freedom for security is rarely ever a good trade, especially in the case of vaping because it has so much potential to save lives.
edit on 12/9/2019 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 10:05 AM
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originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I'm all for making them illegal...nanny state or not..they cause cancer and that's that..lead paint is no longer produced because of it's negative health issues...and yet not everybody became sick from lead paint...but we agreee as a society that there is no benefit from it's use and the same could be said for cigarettes...or if someone really cares make the cigarettes free of chemicals...why doesn't the governments outlaw just the additives?




No, tobacco should not be made illegal. You are talking to adults here, not toddlers. Do you know what it means to be a 'free' adult? Where you can make choices that can be dangerous and nobody shouts at you, slaps you on your wrist, calling you a naughty child.
I hope you don't own a car [oh man even the fumes are bad...especially for children...], have done any DIY in the home, eat out [takeaway] twice a week, are obese, or work; all these things can be very dangerous to your well being and pose a risk, just like having a little roll up here or there.

Otherwise it's just picking what YOU hate the most that needs to be made illegal.






posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

It's a somewhat complicated subject but, yes, many of the big tobacco companies are invested in the e-cigarette business. In fact the brand of e-cigarette being specifically targeted at the moment and that is quoted by officials as being the sole cause of current concerns, Juul, was heavily invested in by Phillip Morris a few years back.

However there is some conflation happening that's not being discussed. While e-cigarettes are definitely vaping, most people I know who vape don't use e-cigarettes as their delivery system. They prefer devices like box mods, the difference being that mods are devices that feature tanks that are refillable from bottles of liquid whereas ecigarettes utilize small, prepackaged and disposable cartridges.

As far as what teens, at least in the US prefer? I've only been around a couple of teens that vape, relatives, and they used box mods. However I'm happy to accept that many teens simply buy the Juul style ecigarettes for convenience.

It's also worth noting that the vape industry, last I checked and by memory, was something like a 4 billion dollar a year industry where the cigarette industry is something like 100 billion a year.

Given that, I'd imagine that it's not irrational to imagine that Phillip Morris could have bought Juul specifically to cause this issue and to eliminate the competition.

ETA: I'm sure that I'm preaching to the choir here, so apologies. It's just that based upon many replies in several threads it's occurred to me that at least a segment of the people involved don't vape and aren't familiar with the differences between delivery devices and which aspects of it are owned by big tobacco.
edit on 9/12/19 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide


It's also worth noting that the vape industry, last I checked and by memory, was something like a 4 billion dollar a year industry where the cigarette industry is something like 100 billion a year.

Well that could explain a lot of it, that's a massive difference, and it makes sense for tobacco companies to want to maintain that ratio since they only own a fraction of the vaping industry.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I've said it before and I'll continue to believe that they will never ban cigarettes. It gives the Government a fall back to blame as cancers increase whilst less people are taking up smoking. Australia was one of the 1st to introduce unleaded petrol. At the time I researched and found that it was more carcinogenic than leaded fuel.

It seems that Australia is a "testing ground" before these ideas are adapted in the rest of the world.

We're told to avoid the sun and yet the therapeutic effects of sunlight on depression has been proven.

Just look at all the chemicals in sunscreen, most are carcinogenic.

www.ewg.org...



TiredOfControlFreaks did some great statistical work on debunking "2nd hand smoking dangers"

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: chrismarco

Yeah and 5G causes death faster than cigarette smoking - coming to your city soon.



but we agreee as a society that there is no benefit from it's use and the same could be said for cigarettes.


What benefit to society from alcohol? Its abuse has far more serious and immediate consequences.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:23 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

It's always been illegal to purchase nicotine outside of a tailor made (eta: roll your own, pipe, included, not just ciggies..) You can't even buy nicotine containing shisha, you, once again, have to import it, and it's been that was long before vaping was even a thing.

Tobacco companies have a strangle hold. And watching the media of late, parroting the "Death by vape" propaganda and telling everyone it's not as safe as they claim, is doing my head in.

To ban all e-liquids in the US because some idiots are selling dodgy juice, is akin to knowing about people who put powders in their rollies, have a bad time, go to hospital and then calling for all cigarettes to be banned.

Given that the people falling ill were using a THC based juice, which is oil, and uses Tocopheryl acetate to help it mix with the water based juice, should be where the efforts are focused. Lipoid pneumonia will do that to you.

If my packages from VapourEyes in NZ start getting hassled and I start losing my imports.... I won't be very bloody happy...

edit on 12-9-2019 by gallop because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:32 AM
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Give me "Groups seeking power over other people" for $500 Alex
Ding , ding , ding
"Daily Double"

(imaginary Jeopardy round)

edit on 9/12/19 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:35 AM
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All I know is we are looking through the door way to the Bizarro version of clown world. We havent quite stepped through, but we are definitely seeing what is on offer there.

The blatant, blatant propaganda on this topic (and others, to be fair) is truly a sight to behold. All the sensationalism of reefer madness catalysed, amplified, and leveraged through technology.

Vaping is bad for you, smoke cigarettes instead!

Thonk of the chaildren!



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: gallop
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

To ban all e-liquids in the US because some idiots are selling dodgy juice, is akin to knowing about people who put powders in their rollies, have a bad time, go to hospital and then calling for all cigarettes to be banned.

The way to tell this is pure propaganda is to look at how many so called liberal MSM news outlets are repeating this nonsense, despite it being something Trump has suggested. The usual suspects couldn't help but make fun of the "She's got a son" comment that Trump made, but when they don't immediately criticize the actual proposal made by Trump you have to ask why, because they criticize him on every other proposal he puts forward. From what I can tell it's actually Melania Trump behind this anti-vaping agenda, and I can only hope she does more research on this topic before jumping the gun.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 11:40 AM
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Our government still believes in the official story of 9/11, they are not the brightest. Scott Morrison thinks the media blackout on the asylum situation is a great answer, just don't look at those few stories of inhumane treatment that do get out. The MSM here ignores it so our emperor looks great in no clothes. What does reality have to do with defining the law? The secret is all about perception... idiots.

Does it matter that people have been smoking for thousands of years? Does it matter that we all are going to die one day? Yeah, lets legislate against death, its all about perception, might work right??? idiots.

Most injuries happen in the home, so lets ban them as well. What about car accidents? lets ban that too. Infact lets get right to the point, you want to stop people dying then lets stop them being born... idiots.

I know smoking has its problems, it also has its place. Someone who wants to stop smoking great, but forcing people to do things they do not want or are not ready for is not a fair go. It is a fascist dictatorship, idiots.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 12:31 PM
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Knowing a little bit about the macho attitudes in Australia, do you think vaping might be seen as "less manly" than puffing away on an old-fashioned cigarette? That sort of tough guy attitude can really undercut a lot of efforts to improve safety. For a long time in the U.S., guys working in coal mines used to not use their protective masks because it was seen as less than manly. I wonder.



posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

How about $120 a carton? Or about $8 US a pack?

Glad I never smoked...cigarettes...




posted on Sep, 12 2019 @ 01:39 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
Knowing a little bit about the macho attitudes in Australia, do you think vaping might be seen as "less manly" than puffing away on an old-fashioned cigarette? That sort of tough guy attitude can really undercut a lot of efforts to improve safety. For a long time in the U.S., guys working in coal mines used to not use their protective masks because it was seen as less than manly. I wonder.

Nah our government seems to be on board the toxic masculinity train, so that wouldn't factor in at all. The aggressive anti-smoking campaign they have conducted for over a decade now is entirely hinged on the claim that it's about reducing smoking, which is clearly nothing but a charade designed to justify ever increasing taxes, otherwise they wouldn't be so against e-liquids containing nicotine. Even if it really was about reducing smoking, pricing everyone out of it is hardly a valid approach, it's like saying we'll make the price of sugary drinks so high no one can afford it, then everyone will be healthier.

Either ban it or admit it's about the tax money, there is no logic in keeping it legal if the goal is to stop people smoking. Increasing the price of an item mostly used by low income individuals does nothing but stress them out even more and it causes extreme financial hardships for those people who are already suffering the most, and I know this because I see it happen all the time to people I know. It's simply disgusting and their justification is nothing but nonsensical double speak, I'm convinced you have to lack a heart and/or brain to see it as a good approach.
edit on 12/9/2019 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)







 
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