The committee received 8,185 form letters from ex, current and never smokers across four campaigns. Please note that an additional 3,694 duplicates have not been included in this figure. Due to the large number of form letters received, the committee decided to publish a representative sample of form letters received from individuals. Owing to the sensitive and personal nature of many form letters, the committee has decided that the representative sample will be drawn from those for which it has received clear advice from the person supporting publication.
In general, the main points made by individuals were as follows:
- Vaping assists individuals to reduce or cease their intake of tobacco and nicotine.
- The current regulatory framework is confusing and mixed in Australia and there is a perceived inconsistency in regulatory attitudes towards tobacco products and vaping.
- Vaping has better health outcomes than smoking cigarettes and is an important strategy for harm minimisation.
- Vaping provides a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, especially for those who are socially or economically disadvantaged or suffer from anxiety-related mental health issues.
- Vaping allows users to self-regulate their nicotine dosage.
- Vaping tastes and smells better than smoking tobacco, especially with the variety of flavours available.
- Unregulated e-cigarette products purchased online can be unsafe. Legalising nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes will make their manufacture, presentation and sale safer for consumers.
- Further restriction on the sale and usage of e-cigarette products would drive up demand for black market products or see increased returns to smoking tobacco.
- Vaping is more cost effective than cigarettes.
- A prescription-based model would increase the burden on doctors' surgeries and pharmacies.
- The Australian vaping industry has developed into a sizeable network of small and family-owned businesses across Australia. To limit vaping to prescription-only would destroy this industry.
- Vaping reduces social isolation and enhances cohesion across families.
- Prohibition or increased restrictions on vaping are an infringement on freedom of choice.
The public form letters received through Legalise Vaping are categorised as follows:
Standard form letter: no additional information
Form letter comprising short or general statements
Form letter with detailed personal account