June 18, 2014

Lung Foundation Australia launches e-cigarette position statement

Lung Foundation Australia is strongly urging relevant government agencies to further regulate access to e-cigarette devices and components, nicotine-filled cartridges, and non-nicotine cartridges.

Lung Foundation CEO, Heather Allan, said the FDA in America had recently introduced new guidelines and called on the Australian government to follow suit.

“At the moment there is confusion around who, how and when people can buy or use e-cigarettes, with different rules and interpretations in different states, and we believe it is vital for the industry as a whole to work together to offer best solution for all people,” Mrs Allan said.

“Public perception that e-cigarettes are a ‘healthier’ alternative to smoking should not be misunderstood to mean they are ‘healthy’,” she said.

“While there are fewer toxins in an e-cigarette than in traditional cigarettes, there are no long-term studies on the safety of e-cigarettes and concern has been expressed about the small particles inhaled when “vaping” and their health impact, particularly on youth.

“We simply don’t know enough about how they work and the possible risks or benefits at this stage, which is why we advocate a cautious, regulated approach to their use.”

Mrs Allan said that there was also not enough data to support recommending the use of e-cigarettes as an aide to quitting smoking. Research, as it stands now, shows the most effective way to quit smoking was to get ongoing support from a health professional, using a combination of counselling and medication.

“This could change as more research is published on this subject.”

To read the full Lung Foundation Australia e-cigarette position paper, click here.

For information on quitting smoking, click here.