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Australian Vapers Have Their Senate Submissions Ignored!

May 4, 2024

by Pippa Starr

Following a debate at the end of March in the House Of Reps on Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024, the bill was sent to a senate commitee.

Submissions were called for and closed on April 12.

Yet it took till just a week before the inquiry for just a few submissions to be published, many were still being published in a trickle like fashion, even through to the last day of the inquiry on May 2.

The point of the inquiry was to hear from all stakeholders to help the senate make the best recommenation(s) to the senate on how best to move forward (or not) with the bill before it is send to the senate room to be voted upon.

I confirmed yesterday with the office of a member of the the senate commitee that only the submissions published were considered! That means that the few remaining submissions that were uploaded during the hearing were most likely unable to be considered by the commitee, as they just wouldn't have had a chance to read them!

Most of the submissions published on May 1 and 2 (during the committee hearing) were from vaping consumers!

In other words, most vaping consumers were shut out from having a voice in this inquiry!

The senate heard from only one vaping consumer during the 2nd day og the committee hearing!

While Mr Justin Leary was an excellent example of someone who quit smoking with vaping, and he spoke of his experience extremely well, it was only the experience of one vaper out of 1.7million!

To make matters worse, my intel/research indicates there is most likely hundreds more submissions from vaping consumers to the senate committee that were scrapped and not published!

Senate committee guidelines state that “the committee will decide whether or not to accept a submission”.

It appears this consideration process did not even happen!

It’s like having a murder court case and ignoring most of the key witnesses!

It’s appalling, and it's just not right!

While I understand that often senate committee’s will disregard campaign templated submissions and those that contain profanity and unsubstantiated claims, or calls out others with an opposing view by name, this just doesn't stack up!

I have seen some of the submissions that haven’t been published and along with my own, they didn’t fit the criteria to be justifably ignored!

It’s like as Senator Ross Cadell said at the end of the senate hearing, “this is a farce!”.

There are at least 1.5million Australian adult vapers who have quit smoking, that appear to have been deliberatly ignored by this Government, and had decisions made for them in a way that is quintessentially “Nanny Statist!”

The clear lack of due process on this bill and respect for largest stakeholders, the consumers, is far from the only major concern!

There were also anti-vaping advocate and NGO submissions accepted by the committee that contained "misleading or exaggerated information with a lack of evidence" supporting their claims according to Dr Colin Mendelsohn!

On behalf of thousands of vaping consumers, I am calling on a full and thorough investigation to the allegations I am making here and demanding another full, yet thorough “commission style” hearing over at least 5 days, that includes senators that can be present for the full duration and be allowed to ask questions at lenghth to all relevant stakeholders, including vaping consumers!

At least 10 consumers should be given a hearing!

Anything short of that will be an absolute farce!

Regardless, I trust that the senate of Australia will do the right thing and vote this bill down, because if they don’t, there could be a huge clean up operation at the next election and beyond including an even bigger firebombing black market that supplies vapes to youths!

Late edit: it now appears that there were submissions accepted past the April 12 due date that were accepted, non were vaping consumers,


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