News

Strong support for Health Department’s monitoring of vape shops

MEDIA RELEASE

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health strongly supports the Health Department of WA’s recent monitoring initiative to ensure that vape shops and licensed tobacco retailers are not breaking the law by selling e-cigarette devices, and accessories and e-liquids.

Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said that since 1 October 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provided a pathway for smokers with a doctor’s prescription to obtain e-cigarettes that contain nicotine for the purpose of smoking cessation.

“This provides a clear and appropriate way of obtaining nicotine containing e-cigarettes in Australia, and was implemented to stem the flow of addictive and illegal e-cigarettes to children and young people,” he said.

The Australian National University has recently released the most comprehensive review to date on the health effects of e-cigarettes that shows non-smokers who use e-cigarettes are three times as likely to go on to smoke tobacco cigarettes, supportive of a “gateway” effect.

Other major findings of the ANU evidence review include:

  • Identified risks of e-cigarettes such as addiction; intentional and unintentional poisoning; acute nicotine toxicity, including seizures; burns and injuries; lung injury; indoor air pollution; environmental waste and fires; dual use with cigarette smoking; and increased smoking uptake in non-smokers.
  • The vast majority of people quitting smoking successfully do so unaided.
  • There is limited evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are an effective aid for quitting smoking.
  • Using e-cigarettes to quit smoking is likely to lead to greater long-term exposure to nicotine compared to TGA approved Nicotine Replacement Products.
  • Overall, e-cigarettes are harmful for non-smokers, especially children and young people, when used for purposes other than smoking cessation.

“The vape and tobacco industries, and their allies will no doubt mount their usual lobbying campaign to undermine the Health Department’s public health program,” Mr Swanson said.

“Decades of public health initiatives which have put Australia at the forefront of nations that have significantly reduced the rate of smoking among adults and children are now at risk.

“Alongside the Government’s school education program, a comprehensive approach to prohibit the sale, supply and promotion of these dangerous, addictive nicotine delivery devices, is required,” Mr Swanson said.

“We must not allow a new generation of young West Australians to get hooked on nicotine,” he said.

For media enquiries please contact Maurice Swanson 0401 090 915

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) is an independent, non-government, not for profit coalition established in 1971, and represents a further 35 prominent health and community organisations with a shared concern about smoking and its harmful consequences.

ACOSH has been a leading advocate for all the regulatory and legislative changes to reduce the impact of smoking on the Australian community, and is supported by the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation – Healthway.