The Number of E-Cigarette Users in Australia might surprise you
November 16, 20234 min read
Australia is a country in which where you can't buy nicotine e-liquid or nicotine e-cigarettes at a local store, but there are still a surprising number of e-cigarette users in the country.
According to various estimates, there are over 200,000 e-cigarette users in Australia today. That's more than you might expect given how harsh the restrictions are on vaping products in the country.
Even though nicotine e-cigs and e-liquids can't be bought in local stores in the country, normal cigarettes can be. This leaves many vapers scratching their heads, wondering just what the Australian government is thinking by restricting access to nicotine vape products while leaving cigarettes on store shelves for those of legal smoking age to buy.
With a population of over 25 million, Australia's vapers account for a relatively small fraction of the country's population. By some estimates, between one and two percent of the country's inhabitants are using e-cigs. Less are using them daily.
How hard is it to vape in Australia?
With the restrictions in place today, it could certainly be easier to vape in Australia. Still, it's not actually that hard. All vapers in Australia have to do to get what they need is to go to a local vape shop and buy it. If they want nicotine though, well, that's another story.
Nicotine vaping in Australia is a bit unusual. A lot of vapers around the world use the internet to buy their e-cigs, e-juice, and other vaping supplies like coils and vape batteries. For vapers in Australia that want to use nicotine with their vape, it's the same deal. They shop online.
The way this works is pretty simple. Vapers want nicotine so they go online to buy it. They can buy e-liquid that has nicotine in it and have it shipped into the country. There's actually a part of the import law that lets them do this, although that could change at some point in time. For now, though, all they have to do is find a shop on the internet that sells to Australia and order what they need.
There are some rules they have to follow, but it's pretty much that simple. Go online, find a store that sells to Australia, order, and then wait for it to arrive. It's pretty easy.
Vaping nicotine is easier in New Zealand
Not all that far away in New Zealand, vapers don't have to do any of this. If they want to vape nicotine e-liquids, they can just go to the store and buy what they need. There's no necessity to go online and import it because shops in New Zealand stock nicotine e-liquid. The restrictions are much more relaxed, which is similar to other countries like the United States.
In the U.S., though, it's becoming harder to vape. There are now state-level bans of varying sorts on vaping products and there's a looming ban on a federal-level for vapers to watch out for. Whether or not the federal ban will go into effect remains to be seen, but it is thought to be on the horizon as it has been made clear that the federal government intends on further restricting access to flavored vaping products.
A lot more vapers in the US than Australia
While there are over a couple hundred thousand vapers in Australia, the United States has many times that. A 2016 survey found that there are around 10 million vapers in the U.S., which, if accurate, is a number that has surely gone up in the years since the survey was conducted. In the U.S., vaping has continued to rise rapidly in popularity, in part because of some of the country's many smokers switching to e-cigarettes.
Why are smokers switching to e-cigs? Reasons differ, surely, however, one of the drivers is the belief that vaping is less harmful. While there's no definitive consensus on the matter, there is a growing body of evidence to support the theory. In the United Kingdom, a review that was mandated by the government found that the current body of scientific evidence points to vaping being a lot less harmful than smoking.
The UK also has a lot more vapers than AU
There are almost three million vapers in the United Kingdom, which is a lot more than there are in Australia. In the UK, vaping has a lot less social stigma than it does in some places because the UK government has been on a mission to spread the word that vaping is likely less harmful than smoking. They want their smokers to switch, well, at least the ones that can't quit smoking some other way, such as "cold turkey" (without any assistance).
What is Vaping?
If you've read this far and you're not sure what vaping is, it's time you learned. Vaping is what e-cigarette users do. They vape. Instead of inhaling smoke like a smoker does, vapers inhale vapor. Well, technically it's not vapor, it's aerosol, but the point remains that it's not smoke. Is it similar to smoke? In appearance, yes, but chemically-speaking, not really. There's a major difference between smoke and vapor, one which should not be overlooked, and that's the lack of tar. Vapor does not contain the tar that cigarette smoke has in it. It also lacks many of the chemicals found in smoke. It's quite different, however, there are still those that think of vapor and smoke as one in the same, which is clearly incorrect.
One of the biggest reasons why people vape today is to get nicotine. It's not always present in e-cigarettes, but it is an option and one which is widely used. Smokers who want to give up smoking will typically use an e-cigarette that contains nicotine instead of one that does not. This way, they still get nicotine, but without the smoke, the tar, and all the other chemicals in cigarette smoke.