Ex-smoker and successful vaper Joe Hildebrand introduces a video that demonstrates the difference between vaping and smoking cigarettes. It’s the tar in combustible tobacco that causes most of the health problems. Watch the video to see if you get that “ah hah” moment when you see the absence of tar from vaping.

Aussie Vape Day wants to bring the benefits of vaping to Australia by showing smokers how to legally make the switch. Start here with some research. Then talk to your doctor about whether vaping is suitable for you as a method of quitting smoking. Your doctor may write you a prescription for e-liquid if it is appropriate. Then you will be on the path to a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes.

* If you’re a doctor, find out how to write a prescription for e-liquid.

Vaping is far less harmful to your health than smoking cigarettes. Aussie Vape Day encourages smokers who can’t quit with conventional treatments to give vaping a try. For many, vaping can be lifesaving.


Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn
Chairman, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA)

Sydney Launch of Aussie Vape Day

  • Date: Thursday 30 May 2019
  • Time: 12-3pm
  • Location: Five Dock Park, corner of Park Road / Barnstaple Rd, Five Dock

Everyone is invited to the Aussie Vape Day launch in Sydney. Please come along to celebrate the first ever Aussie Vape Day and bring your smoking friends to find out more!


  • Free sausage sizzle
  • Free lung health checks and carbon monoxide readings
  • Advice on vaping
  • Live facebook stream of interviews
  • Mingle and mix with other vapers
  • Meet the team from ATHRA, Legalise Vaping and New Nicotine Alliance
Five Dock Park, corner of Park Road / Barnstaple Rd, Five Dock

Make the switch to vaping

Are you an adult smoker who can’t quit? Vaping is not completely risk-free, but most experts agree it is a much less harmful alternative and an effective quitting aid for some smokers.

For more detailed information download the “5 Steps” PDF:

Success stories

Many Australian smokers have already improved their health by making the switch to vaping. Their stories help illustrate the health benefits and the substantial money saved.

Vapers share their success stories and experiences.

Andrea Matesi Photo

Andrea Matesi

Andrea started buying cigarettes for his father at the age of 10 and decided to try them for himself. From between the ages of 15-25 years he began smoking about a pack of 20 cigarettes per day.

Read Andrea’s Story…

Brett Douglas

Brett started smoking at the age of 8. He began doing it regularly from the age of 15 where he was smoking about 35-40 cigarettes a day.

Read Brett’s Story…

Gary Leigh

Gary started smoking with he was 16 but it didn’t become regular until the age of 19 where he was smoking about 2 packs a week. Everyone was doing it and he wanted to fit in with the crowd at the time.

Read Gary’s Story…

Paul Mathieson

Paul started smoking when he was 12, pinching cigarettes on the sly from his parents. He was a smoker for 45 years, smoking about a packet a day.

Read Paul’s Story…

Joanne Colbert

Joanne was a smoker for about 20 years, beginning when she was 17. She tried every way of quitting (champix, patches, gums, cold turkey) all without success.

Read Joanne’s Story…

Carly Lang

Carly started smoking when she was 14 and smoked regularly for about 20 years, having 30-40 cigarettes a day. Carly decided to make the change when her partner had gone away for work and returned with a vape.

Read Carly’s Story…

Edward Fraser

When Edward was growing up, everyone around him was smoking. It was the normal thing to do and they were so easy for him to get, which led him to begin smoking at the age of 11.

Read Edward’s Story…

Peter Doughan

Peter started smoking at the age of 15 and smoked 40-50 cigarettes a day for 25 years. He is now on a disability pension due to mental health problems.

Read Peter’s Story…

Peter Dorio

Peter was a heavy smoker for the past 20-25 years. He had tried to quit several times over the years without success. He said, “It frustrated me so much because I had achieved so much in my life through hard work and willpower but nothing was working for me.”

Read Peter’s Story…


Stuart started smoking when he was 8 years old. Cigarettes were so accessible at the time, either left around by family members or purchasable from the local convenient store who would sell to children in school uniform.

Read Stuart’s Story…

Aussie Vape Day Booklet

Switch to Vaping PDF Booklet

Vapers tell their stories in the Aussie Vape Day Switch to vaping: Success stories Booklet:


Thinking of switching to vaping? Here is what leading international experts and public health organisations say, based on the latest available evidence.

1. Can e-cigarettes help me quit smoking?

‘E-cigarettes were more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy’ and ‘provided greater satisfaction and were rated as more helpful to refrain from smoking than nicotine replacement products’.
Hajek P. A Randomised Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy. New England Journal of Medicine 2019

2. Are e-cigarettes less harmful than smoking?

‘Although not risk-free, e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking – at least 95%, with the risk of cancer calculated to be less than 1%’.
Public Health England. Key questions and findings from our e-cigarette evidence update. 2018

3. Can switching to vaping reduce exposure to toxins and carcinogens?

‘There is conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes’.
United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes 2018. Conclusion 18.1

4. What are the long-term health hazards of vaping compared to smoking?

‘the hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation … is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco’ Nicotine without smoke – Tobacco harm reduction.
Nicotine Without Smoke – Tobacco Harm Reduction. UK Royal College of Physicians 2016

5. Can switching to vaping lead to improved health?

‘If every currently addicted adult smoker switched completely to e-cigarettes it would provide a tremendous public health gain’.
Director of US Food and Drug Administration, Dr Scott Gottlieb 2019

6. Does vaping cause popcorn lung?

‘No. There’s no good evidence that e-cigarettes could cause the lung condition called popcorn lung. There’s been no cases of popcorn lung reported in people who use e-cigarettes.’
Cancer Research UK, 2018

7. Is nicotine harmful?

‘Use of nicotine alone, in the doses used by smokers, represents little if any hazard to the user’ p.125 It is ‘the tobacco smoke that is responsible for almost all of the harm caused by smoking’.
Nicotine Without Smoke – Tobacco Harm Reduction. UK Royal College of Physicians 2016. p.8

8. Is the vapour harmful to bystanders?

‘To date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders’.
Public Health England. Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. 2018 p.162

9. Are e-cigarettes cheaper than smoking?

‘The comparative cost saving for a 20 cigarette-a-day smoker…is over $9,000 per year. So vaping can be about 90% less expensive than smoking’.
Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) 2019

10. Is it legal to vape in Australia?

‘Under the Personal Importation Scheme, you may import a 3-month supply at the one time … of unapproved therapeutic goods (nicotine) into Australia provided ‘a prescription from an Australian-registered medical practitioner is held’.
Therapeutic Goods Administration, Personal Importation Scheme. 2015

For more detailed information download the 10 FAQs PDF:

Contact us

The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, New Nicotine Alliance Australia and Legalise Vaping Australia have joined forces to raise awareness of vaping and provide support for adult smokers to make the switch.


ATHRA is a registered health promotion charity established to reduce the harm from tobacco smoking in Australia. ATHRA aims to raise awareness of vaping and to educate the public and health professionals about it.

Legalise Vaping

Legalise Vaping Australia is dedicated to campaigning for the legalisation and risk proportionate regulation of vaping and e-cigarettes across Australia.

New Nicotine Alliance

The New Nicotine Alliance represents the consumer element of tobacco harm reduction. It advocates responsible, pragmatic regulatory change, that would contribute greatly to public health in Australia.

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