AVATAR - Australian Vaping Advocacy, Trade and Research

Australia's vape advocacy peak body, working with government and the media to promote and protect the rights of vapers all around the country



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About AVATAR

AVATAR is a not-for-profit association that works with government and the media to promote and protect the rights of vapers across Australia. Our membership comprises retailers, traders, and consumers of personal vapouriser devices and other smoke-free products.

We are funded entirely through member contributions and have no affiliations whatsoever with the tobacco industry or any of its representatives.

AVATAR is a registered not-for-profit headquartered in South Australia, incorporation number A43313.

Advocacy

AVATAR advocates for the use of vaporisers as a paradigm shift in the way people quit smoking and use nicotine, in line with the hundreds of public health bodies around the world who agree and accept that vapourisers are one of the biggest public health opportunities in the last fifty years.

While we approach this topic from an industry perspective, we also advocate on behalf of the communities in which we operate and the hundreds of thousands of Australians from all walks of life who are using vapourisers to free themselves from the shackles of tobacco addiction.

Regulation

AVATAR is actively involved in negotiating with governments around Australia to introduce strong, sensible regulation of this industry. Our objective is to encourage the adoption of a clear set of regulations based on regulations recently introduced in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Australia remains one of the only developed countries in the world still attempting to suppress the vapouriser industry despite clear medical, scientific, and statistical evidence demonstrating that vaping is substantially safer than traditional combustible tobacco, a fact that almost no public health organisation in the world disputes.

We propose five regulatory areas of immediate concern, which will likely reveal more policy silences on the issue of vaporisers:

  1. Altering the current scheduling of liquid nicotine in concentrations 20mg/ml or less to allow for retail sales for recreational and therapeutic use, and ensuring that a standard of manufacturing is in place so that e-liquid manufacturers are held accountable for what they are putting in their bottles. 20mg/ml concentrations of nicotine currently fall within comparable international standards, specifically the European Unions Tobacco Product Directives.
  2. Standardisation of the national online marketplace. The different rules regarding online sales between the states impact the ability of some people in rural and regional areas to access vaporisers. Unlike traditional tobacco products, vaporisers do not have broad physical market penetration. Differing regulations also unfairly benefit vendors in judiciaries with less restrictive regulations around the sale and distribution of these devices.
  3. National licensing provisions as a proof of concept. Currently, governments at all levels are ill-equipped to deal with the online marketplace because it, the marketplace, doesn’t pay attention to arbitrarily defined state or international borders. By bringing vaporiser retailers under a single national license, consistency across all States and Territories is ensured, a reality that does not currently exist within the tobacco or alcohol sales industries. Using an emerging industry such as the vaporiser industry to provide a practical proof of concept and testing ground for national regulation has benefits far beyond this industry.
  4. Appropriate training for vapouriser industry workers. One of the major issues that AVATAR has identified internally is the proliferation of businesses with little to no expertise in the safe handling of devices and e-liquids. All AVATAR businesses know the correct calculations to provide customers with knowledge around safe use of vaporisers, including calculations on how customers can safely mix their own imported liquid nicotine and how to safely handle the high-drain batteries used in vaporisers.
  5. That appropriate steps are undertaken to fund independent studies into the impacts of vaping on the health of consumers so that the Australian Government can make its own evidence based decisions.