Senate debates

Thursday, 25 February 2021



5:07 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

One Nation opposes this motion. As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I'll explain why. Vapes and e-cigarettes are as safe as the vaping solution's contents. E-cigs should be available in Australia using the established Therapeutic Goods Administration procedure for schedule 3 pharmacy-only medications. This would allow local producers to submit their products to the TGA for testing and approval. Those approved devices and solutions would then be made using good manufacturing process right here in Australia. This would offer complete assurance to Australian consumers that the product they're using is safe. The approval process is quick and cheap, as compared to potential sales revenue. Distribution should be limited to pharmacists.

Our policy follows a review of both academic research and empirical data from around the world. Thousands of pages of science and data support the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking. Public Health England has found the available evidence suggests that e-cigs are likely to be considerably less harmful than cigarettes. A peer reviewed article published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Drug Policy found there was no support for the argument that vaping is a gateway to smoking, no support. The article produced empirical evidence that clearly shows e-cigarettes have accompanied a reduction in smoking rates in countries where quit rates had previously stagnated.

What is wrong with paying attention to the science and the reality? It's debates like this debate around e-cigarettes and vaping that leads One Nation to call for an office of scientific integrity. These matters are far too important to be decided by a selective quoting of reports so as to support any pre-conceived position. Good government requires the truth—not duelling reports, not fear, not ideology, not vested interests, not uninformed opinion, not emotions—facts and data. An office of scientific integrity and quality assurance would allow independent scientists and advocates to test these important issues and from that process the truth would have the best chance of emerging.

Question agreed to.


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