The Australian launch of ‘No Fire, No Smoke; the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR)’ — ‘The right to choose’ took place on 5th March in Melbourne, at the Victorian Parliament. The event was hosted by the Progressive Public Health Alliance, the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) and the New Nicotine Alliance (Australia) and was attended by MPs, health policy professionals, academics, harm reduction experts, journalists, consumers and vaping advocates.
The events linked the contents of the GSTHR report and the emerging evidence relating to health and relative risk, to focus on the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the use of safer nicotine products in Australia. The country has one of the highest cigarette prices in the world, plain packaging and robust tobacco control laws. Despite the regulatory and financial pressure, these measures have not impacted on those most vulnerable in society, such as first nation citizens and people with severe mental illness, whose smoking rates are far higher.
A guiding principle of our dissemination activities in other countries is to work with and support local advocates and champions. Together we press for pragmatic and proportionate responses to safer nicotine products. This is especially important in countries like Australia, where currently the medical establishment and politicians are working against the best interests of those smokers who want to transition away from cigarettes while still having the choice to consume nicotine.