Get a load of this news, hipsters: the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) just endorsed vaping (um, what?), but don’t get too excited – it’s mostly for people who are trying to quit smoking.
The announcement was published this morning in smoking cessation guidelines, giving vaping the official health authority stamp of approval.
The new endorsement comes off the back of research that shows vaping is almost twice as effective for those trying to quit smoking as nicotine gums and patches. This is because it doesn’t just deliver that good ol’ nicotine hit – it also keeps the hand to mouth motions and social aspects that make up the “smoking experience”.
Stats show that people aren’t doing too well in terms of quitting smoking, and relapse is common. Although vaping isn’t entirely safe and does carry its own risks, it allows people to smoke without dumping thousands of toxic chemicals into your lungs. In fact, the UK College of Physicians reckons that long term vaping is about 95% less harmful than cigarettes.
So Is The Government Fine With Vaping Now?
None of this changes the fact that vaping is still not regulated by the Australian government, meaning we can’t be entirely sure about what’s in cigarette products.
Liquid nicotine is illegal to buy, possess, or use if you don’t have a prescription. However, patients can only be prescribed it for a maximum of three months every year, meaning you only have a few months every year to try to quit cigarettes. If you’ve ever tried to quit, you know that quitting for good absolutely does not happen in three months, but hopefully this will change with an update to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Vaping is currently legal in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, so it’s nice to see Australia catching up a little bit. With a national medical body taking up more harm reduction strategies, maybe we’ll see some more progress when it comes to other things old people shake their heads at *cough* pill testing *cough.
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