Australia Considers Nationwide Smoking Ban
According to multiple reports out of Australia, the government is considering a nationwide ban on smoking if electronic cigarette use proves to be far safer than smoking. The government is funding some studies focused on answering that very question. This would make Australia the first nation to outlaw smoking.
Australia has be one of the more aggressive anti-smoking nations. They were the first to pioneer plain packaging laws. Many officials there have been looking for a way to ban smoking on the whole rather than just discouraging it. Electronic cigarettes, despite some initial anti-smoking sentiments being applied to them there, suddenly look like that opportunity.
Officials allocated around $1 million towards a study that around 2015 will determine the health risks and impact of electronic cigarette use. Following the results, assuming that are good, government officials will push for a nationwide ban on smoking products. That could take some time, but that it is even being discussed as a possibility is quite astounding.
Australia has gone out of its way to be a pioneer in tobacco control. While much of the rest of the world is looking at e-cigs with pessimism and concern that they may bring about a new age of smoking, Australia went the other way — viewing electronic cigarettes as a potential end game against smoking on the whole.
The effects of a ban like this on the electronic cigarette market are likely to be quite profound — even in other countries. We’ll certainly be following this as it develops.