Health

“Personal” donations to the Liberal Party came from sucking the lobby during policy debates.

E-cigarette lobby groups across the country donated a total of $ 44,000 to the Liberal Party, which was declared as a personal gift from the board on the election return.

Four Corners discovered that the donation was made as part of a series of “round table meetings” with the Coalition MP, creating a fierce disagreement within the previous administration about the future of e-cigarettes (or arcs) in Australia. ..

It is illegal to sell or own a nicotine arc in Australia without a prescription.

A A thriving black market has emerged Cheap, disposable devices are sold on social media and under the counters of major tobacco chain chains across the country.

The vaping industry and supporters (including some politicians) continue to seek widespread legal access as authorities struggle to eradicate illegal sales.

Four Corners has found numerous examples of vaporization sold on social media and used by teens to inhale illegal nicotine vapors.((((supply).

Combat fund

According to election records, the Liberal Party received $ 20,000, $ 15,000, $ 7,000, and $ 2,000 from 33-year-old Sydney man Brian Marlow last fiscal year.

Marlow is the director of Legalize Vaping Australia, a campaign for the right to buy and sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine. This organization is a branch of the Australian Taxpayer Alliance, a group of libertarian activists.

Marlow is also a friend of Senator Hollie Hughes, one of the coalition’s strongest supporters of inhaling vapors as a tool to quit smoking.

Senator Hughes says their friendship has nothing to do with her position.

“Surprisingly, I can actually decide for myself about the problem. This may shock some people, but I have my own heart for the Liberal Party and how I feel. There is a woman who can tell if she is. Problem. “

Senator Hughes chaired the Senate Committee’s investigation into e-cigarettes in late 2020, stating that e-cigarettes are a form of “reducing the harm of cigarettes” that helped them spend 60 days without cigarettes. rice field.

Senator comments on the effectiveness of vaping as a method of smoking cessation are inconsistent with the research published in a government-consigned report and the latest findings of the National Health Medical Research Council.

Holly Hughes stands in front of the Capitol Mike, behind her with several men and women.
Senator Holly Hughes talks with Senator Eric Abets and Senator Matt Canavan, who support e-cigarettes (far right) after an investigation into e-cigarettes in the 2020 Senate. Did.((((ABC News: Matt Roberts).

The $ 44,000 donation was declared personal by Mr. Marlowe. The disclosure form does not mention the legalization of e-cigarettes in Australia or the benefits of e-cigarettes.

After canceling the interview with Four Corners, Marlow responded in writing, revealing that the true source of the donation was Legalize Vaping Australia.

In mid-2020, the organization set up a “combat fund” to oppose changes in vaping regulations.

“After the former Minister of Health [Greg Hunt] Two weeks ago, with a notice and zero consultation, we announced a ban on the import of vaping products, and vape shops across the country donated more than $ 100,000 to our organization within a week, “he said. ..

“Behind the scenes, we held a series of Ark roundtables to give workers-class Ark shop employees and shop owners the opportunity to engage with parliamentarians for a long time.”

Marlowe said at these roundtables Senator Hughes, who was photographed with him on Facebook, her prescribing physician, vapor-breathing advocate Colin Mendelson, and many e-cigarette stores. Said it would include a meeting with the owner of the.

V
A photo posted on Facebook of a roundtable attendee with Senator Hollie Hughes.((((supply).

When asked why he declared the donation to come from himself, not from the Legalize Vaping Australia combat fund, Marlow said it was easier to do so.

“It’s a daunting task to round up multiple shopkeepers and employees across multiple states, pay individually for each, and book tickets for each roundtable, just like keeping a cat.” He said.

“To keep things simple, I paid all the costs, that is, I had to make the relevant declaration.”

Holly Hughes and nine others are sitting around the table and smiling at the camera. There is a glass of wine on the table.
Senator Hollie Hughes took a photo at the roundtable with vaping supporters, including Brian Marlowe.((((supply).

Marlow denied that the source of the donation was hidden. He refused to elaborate on which other politicians attended the roundtable or how payments were related to the event.

When the Four Corners asked for more clarification, Marlow declined, saying:

“Enjoy the Smear Campaign.”

Senator used vapes to quit smoking

In an interview before the Four Corners knew the true source of the donation, Senator Hughes said he didn’t know what Mr Marlow had given to the party.

“It’s not illegal to donate to the Liberal Party. There’s nothing wrong with donating to the Liberal Party,” she said.

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes
Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes is enthusiastic about smoking.((((ABC Four Corners).

Four Corners later sent a written question to the Senator about her knowledge of donations from the vaporizing industry to the Liberal Party and her attendance at the roundtable.

In a statement, Senator Hughes said: [Legalise Vaping Australia] Every day Australians are the salt of the earth.

“Many of these are steam lovers, like me, who turned to steaming to quit smoking.

“They tend to run small family-owned vaping stores, and they have come together to represent their interests.

“As an elected representative, I regularly meet with representatives and business owners from different industries on different issues, as do all my colleagues.”

“Personal” donations to the Liberal Party came from sucking the lobby during policy debates.

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