The vape debate in Australia continues as details of the state of Victoria’s new Smoke Free Plan have emerged.

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) says the state’s health organisations have “overlooked vaping, the key component to establishing a smoke-free state in their announcement.”

Several Victoria-based health organisations have launched a new strategy called ‘Target 2025’ which is aimed at combatting stalled smoking rates by placing a 2025 deadline on the state  to cut smoking rates to below five percent.

ATHRA praises the state’s health organisations for coming together in taking an anti-tobacco stance, however the association also says the fact that vaping plays no part in this smoke-free plan shows they have missed “the key ingredient.”

“The call today for a smoke-free Victoria by 2025 is a welcomed one, of course, but it has actually omitted the most effective, internationally-proven measure to significantly reduce smoking rates: legalising vaping and is unlikely to reach its target.

There is growing scientific evidence that vaping helps people quit smoking. In fact, personal vaporisers (e-cigarettes) are now the most popular quitting aid in many countries including the UK, US and Europe and have helped millions of smokers to quit.

Implementing more or less the same tobacco control measures isn’t going to have the desired impact – and we’ve seen this to be true in Australia since 2013, where smoking rates have not had a statistically significant reduction.”

Read ATHRA’s full statement here. 

Stephen Elsom (59) started smoking when he was 18, after convincing his own father to stop smoking. The Victorian mental health nurse finally quit smoking three years ago when he discovered vaping while visiting the UK. After having failed repeatedly with conventional therapies, vaping proved to be the only way for Stephen to successfully quit cigarettes. His wife also quit the same way.

Watch this short video to understand the state of vaping down under.


Vaping has yet to be legalised in Australia. E-liquids containing nicotine are banned in the country, as liquid nicotine is classed as a poisonous substance.