Australia told to harness e-cigarettes’ quitting power

    There seem to be signs that the tide is turning once again in favour of electronic cigarettes.

    A report yesterday told how New Zealand’s ban on electronic cigarettes with nicotine had come under fire from a visiting health professional from Australia, where a similar ban is in place.

    Now, another report describes how Australia has been urged to approve the use of electronic cigarettes.

    According to a story in the Daily Telegraph relayed by the TMA, Simon Breheny, director of the Legal Rights Project at the business economics think tank Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne, said the Therapeutic Goods Administration should recognize the benefits of electronic cigarettes, which Breheny described as possibly the “greatest tool in the fight against lung cancer”.

    He said the use of the devices should be approved in recognition of the therapeutic benefit they offered to thousands of Australians who were trying to quit smoking.

    The current law banned the sale of electronic cigarettes using claims that they have a therapeutic benefit, but studies had shown that they could save lives.

    Breheny cited an article in the Journal of Public Health from August 2014 that found that electronic cigarette use could “reduce the number of cigarettes smoked and withdrawal symptoms”.

    Another study in BMC Medicine in 2014 had said there was no doubt that smokers switching to electronic cigarettes substantially reduced the risk to their health.

    Electronic cigarettes and other reduced risk products should be seen as the “latest in cutting-edge tobacco quitting devices, and the government should make room for life-saving innovations”, Breheny said.