MP Not sure on E-cig ban

27 Jun MP Not sure on E-cig ban

Pete Martinelli – The Herald Sun – Saturday 27 June 2020

FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch will discuss a proposed ban on e-cigarettes with the health minister before taking a position on the divisive issue.

The Member for Leichhardt was not one of 28 Coalition backbenchers who signed a letter urging Minister Greg Hunt to reconsider his prohibition of imported liquid nicotine.

But late yesterday Mr Hunt backed down on the ban starting on July 1. Instead it will start on January 1 next year. GPs will be required to prescribe and order the concentrated liquid for patients, who had previously been able to order it online from overseas.

The MPs include Queensland Senator Matt Carnavan and former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

But Mr Entsch refused to stand among them, saying he wanted to make an informed decision on the issue.

“My gut feeling is that it is probably a good thing,” Mr Entsch said.

“I’ll seek advice and take an informed opinion. I still have not made up my mind.”

Victorian Senator James Paterson this week posted on Facebook that “vaping is a safer alternative to cigarettes. It saves lives”.

Cairns vapers have protested the ban, citing a danger that they would be pushed back to smoking cigarettes if GPs proved unwilling to prescribe nicotine concentrate.

Victory Vapes Cairns manager Jason Raimondo warned that the ban would affect tourism, given the popularity of vaped nicotine overseas.

But Mr Entsch said the risk to tourism did not hold much water.

“Chewing tobacco and snuff is also popular overseas,” he said.

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