How many adult Australians vape?

Posted on October 22, 2022 By Colin

THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED 1,300,000 current adult (18+) vapers in Australia, or about 5.5% of the adult population. A tiny minority of vapers (5-10%) have a nicotine prescription as required by Australia’s draconian prescription-only laws.

These estimates are based on the following recent surveys

These numbers only include current vapers. Many smokers have quit with vaping and no longer smoke or vape

The horse has bolted

The numbers are a clear indication that vaping nicotine has been embraced by Australia’s smokers as a safer alternative to deadly smoking. In the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, vaping was Australia's most popular quitting aid, used by 22% of smokers to quit or reduce smoking. By comparison, only 1.8% used Quitline.

This is despite Australia’s harsh restrictions on vaping and constant false and alarmist media reports and negative messaging from the federal and state governments, health charities and medical associations.

How many current Australian smokers would now be vaping if they were given truthful information about the harms of vaping compared to smoking and were encouraged to switch by health authorities, like the UK and NZ governments?

Smokers, vapers and doctors have rejected the prescription-only model.  Less than 5% of doctors are willing to prescribe nicotine e-liquid. Only 5-10% of vapers have a nicotine prescription and are forced to commit a criminal offence in order to improve their health

Time for change

When a large number of Australians tell lawmakers that something is working well for them, they should listen carefully and respectfully.

Australian governments need to accept that the harsh restrictions regulating vaping in Australia have been a resounding policy failure. In fact, they have made things worse, creating a thriving black market and skyrocketing youth vaping rates.

On average there are 7,615 vaping voters (and their families) in each federal electorate and a commitment from vapers could change the result of many marginal seats

It is time to bring Australian regulations into line with other western countries and support the shift to safer nicotine alternatives for adult smokers.

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