Tasmanian smokers and the health system would save big dollars if vaping using nicotine was legalised, a retail group says.
The Australian Retail Vaping Industry Association (ARVIA) has also suggested Tasmania could gain new businesses and jobs if it was the first jurisdiction to make the move, with much of an estimated $438 million per year spent overseas by Australian vapers being spent in Tasmania.
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ARVIA said member surveys showed at least 70 per cent of Australian vape businesses would consider establishing in Tasmania and creating new jobs if the state was "first mover".
"Legalising vaping would be a win-win-win for Tasmania's health, jobs and economy," ARVIA spokesman Russell Zimmerman said.
"With the second highest smoking rate in Australia ... every measure which helps Tasmanians give up traditional cigarettes offers significant health benefits."
Mr Zimmerman said research had shown vaping was up to 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.
He said that had led to many developed nations legalising and regulating it as a proven way to help people quit cigarettes.
"Studies from New Zealand forecast the country is set to see health system savings of $720 per citizen from their liberalised approach to vaping, savings which I'm sure most would agree would be very welcome in Tasmania," Mr Zimmerman said.
"By becoming a first mover in Australia for vaping, Tasmania could reap the economic and jobs rewards on offer as this trend inevitably takes off on our shores."
ARVIA said the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association estimated a person who smoked 20 cigarettes of the leading brand per day would spend $10,580 per year on smoking, but about $1150 per year if they switched to vaping.
An economic assessment report for ARVIA suggested there would be a "marked increase" in international and domestic tourism to Tasmania if nicotine vaping was legalised.
It suggested nicotine vapers would see Tasmania "as a legally safe place to travel, similar to New Zealand and the European Union, without the well-founded fear of persecution, harassment and prosecution that vapers may experience in mainland states with aggressive anti-vaping laws, such as Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales".
Australian retailers are not allowed to sell vaping products using nicotine.
Some vapers get them imported from overseas.