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Labour Party Propose Aussie-Inspired Vape Prescription Scheme

By Emily Malia 1st March 2024 3 Mins

Having observed Australia’s unconventional vaping model, could the potential new Labour government be heading in the same direction?

Taking a leaf out of Australia’s book, the Labour Party have posed an Aussie- inspired vape prescription scheme, if they were to be successful in the next general election.

The idea was announced in an address by Wes Streeting, the Labour’s Health Secretary, he said: “I’m looking very carefully at what Mark Butler and the Australian Labour government have announced. “ Their policy is in part driven by the evidence in Australia that vaping has become a gateway drug to smoking.”

For Aussie vapers, their quitting journeys have unfortunately been overlooked Down Under, with many having zero access to the products except with a prescription.

With talks of further restrictions, this surely would only shift more ex-smokers to the burgeoning illicit black market?

Streeting went on to say the ‘irresponsible’ vaping industry has ‘peddled itself as an altruistic smoking cessation service, at the same time as addicting a generation of children’s nicotine.’

These are bold claims made against the industry…one that has helped the lives of millions of former smokers. So, why would a potential future government even want to consider taking all of that away?

Is vape prescriptions the answer to a controlled smoking alternative after all? British vaping advocate Christopher Snowdon thinks not…theorising that with the current government working on the total prohibition of cigarettes, he set out to find another smoking and vaping-related policy by looking to Australia.

He wrote:

“Its beggars’ belief that anybody could visit Australia and conclude that its approach to smoking and vaping is a model to follow. “Australia is the only country I know of where the prevalence of both smoking and vaping is rising among the youth.

“A remarkable feat that has been achieved by facilitating a black market that effectively allows anyone to buy vapes and then telling the public that e-cigarettes are worse than smoking.”

Users in the vaping community have voiced their opinion against the British Labour party’s proposal, with many afraid of Australia’s mindset when it comes to harm reduction and the hysteria created around the supposable ‘dangers’ of e-cigarettes.

In response to the news, one user tweeted: “Dear UK…as an Aussie Vaper PLEASE do not follow our ridiculous lead… the Aussie prohibition and medicalisation of vaping has led to a huge black-market trade… “Fire bombings and the impending closure of decent small businesses who only ever did the right thing, it’s a bonfire!”

It’s difficult to see how Australia’s attempt to lessen the use of e-cigarettes would indicate it’s something that the UK needs to adopt, but I guess only time will tell.

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Emily Malia