Vaping Ban Set To Go Before Public
Melbourne Planning To Ban Vaping In Existing Smoke-Free Zones
Overburdened public health and healthcare systems across the planet have been pushed to their breaking point during the current coronavirus crisis. Despite this, public health priorities of the officials charged with regulating it continue to be misplaced amid the ongoing global pandemic.
The Melbourne City Council has announced they will be placing a proposal to ban vaping in existing smoke-free zones throughout the Central Business District. The ban would align the city with the rest of the state of Victoria, where vaping is already regulated in a similar manner to smoking.
Vaping advocates note that vaping is one of the most effective smoking cessation options available and poses no secondhand risk to bystanders. Anti-vaping activists have been on a long-standing crusade of prohibition despite citing no evidence to support their cause.
The council is set to take and review submissions from the public before deciding to proceed with the proposal. The amendment would then go before the council for a final vote before being enacted.
The Melbourne City Council has announced they are going to put a proposed vaping ban before the public for a comment period. The council is giving people a month to formally submit their comments for consideration before they revisit the issue.
The ban would add vaping to 11 existing smoke-free zones throughout the city’s central business district. Lord mayor Sally Capp has stated the ban would align the city with the rest of Victoria who subjects vaping to the same regulations as smoking.
However, some councilors believe the ban may be unnecessary and not reflective of the current scientific consensus surrounding vaping. Deputy lord mayor Arron Wood stated that he was not convinced about the need for the ban, opting to put it before the public for comment and feedback.
“The argument that there’s absolutely no emissions is not accurate,” said Dr. Sarah White, director of Quit Victoria in regards to concerns over vaping. “We actually don’t know the long-term, or even short-term, health effects of … second-hand aerosol.” She states that the ban is a common-sense measure meant to protect the public.
“I don’t think the council really has a mandate or a responsibility to ban vaping” said Colin Mendelsohn, associate professor at the University of NSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He states that nicotine doses in vapor is too low to be dangerous, and there is no evidence of harm from exposure to secondhand vapor.
Several respected public health professionals joined together for an article published in the journal Science to speak out against prohibitive policies targeting vaping. This group of acclaimed scholars note that the scientific consensus indicates there is currently no evidence that vaping is harmful, and that prohibitive policies targeting vaping may push smokers back toward tobacco or black market alternatives.
There have been a number of studies highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid. One such study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that vaping is more effective than conventional nicotine-replacement therapies in helping people not only quit smoking but remain tobacco-free as well. An additional study, from the University of Louisville, found vaping to be the single most effective form of smoking cessation available, even more than prescription options and other nicotine replacement therapies.
Not only has vaping been routinely demonstrated to be one of the most effective smoking cessation aids available, but current research indicates that vaping is a proven reduced harm alternative to smoking as well. Research conducted by the UK Royal College of Physicians found that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. This figure has been routinely touted and defended by Public Health England, the country’s top health agency.
As mentioned, the current scientific consensus and evidence surrounding vaping indicate no risk of harm from long-term use and exposure. Research from the National Academy of Sciences found that not only vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, but there are currently no known long-term health effects from prolonged usage.
Prohibitive policies amid the pandemic only pose a threat to public health and risk placing additional strain on our already-overburdened healthcare systems. Vaping should be embraced and encouraged by lawmakers given the risks that smokers face from catching the coronavirus.
Members of Melbourne’s vaping industry and community must speak out against this restrictive regulation during the commenting phase. The city council must not be swayed by the whims of anti-vaping activists to place public health at greater risk during these uncertain times.
What are your thoughts regarding Melbourne’s proposed vaping ban? How do you believe this will impact vapers and the industry within the city? Let us know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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