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Normal people trying to kick their smoking habit caught in the middle of a stoush between politicians and corporations.

Guardian Australia revealed this week that Philip Morris International, the tobacco giant, is lobbying government MPs against Australia’s effective ban on vaping, as it seeks to grow sales of its e-cigarette products to 42% of global revenue by 2025. But, Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, remains resolute that the ban will not be lifted.

“Big tobacco isn’t moving into e-cigarettes because it cares about people’s health, they’re doing it because their existing customers keep dying from terrible smoking-related diseases. Big tobacco only cares about creating new markets and increasing their profits.” - deputy opposition leader, Tanya Plibersek.

But backers of vaping say the tobacco industry plays a small role in promoting vaping. One of the key voices calling for e-cigarette legalisation, a University of New South Wales’ associate professor, Colin Mendelsohn, said it was a “pervasive myth” that big tobacco was behind vaping products.

“It would be a public health tragedy if the uptake of vaping was undermined because of the false belief that vaping was a tobacco industry plot,” he said. “Vaping is a far safer alternative to smoking and has helped many millions of smokers to quit.”

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