Taking a closer look at WA Government submission to the Federal Inquiry into use & marketing of e-cigs in Australia. The government have made some strong statements supporting the banning of e-cigs, which could have a massive (negative) impact on public health so its worth taking a closer look. Is it misinformation? Is it malpractice? Or is a ban just easier? What do you think?

Straight off the bat, WA health states it is all for protecting the health of WA population however, by not allowing adults easy access e-cigs it is discouraging harm reduction.

E-cigs do not make therapeutic claims, they’re not a quit smoking device, they are an alternative to smoking, quitting is usually a side effect. As the devices are consumer products they are covered under consumer law therefore nothing to do with TGA, zero, zilch. Interesting to note however, in the US and UK as e-cig use climbs, smoking rates are plummeting.

The FCTC plainly states that countries should embrace tobacco harm reduction as a method to lower the smoking rates, also the WHO’s conclusion at the Seventh Session is now outdated information. In July 2017 BMJ report the following

The noticeable increase in e-cigarette use during 2010-15 in the United States was associated with a considerable and unprecedented increase in quit attempts, but most importantly in population quit rates

http://www.bmj.com/content/358/bmj.j3506

 

Nicotine in low doses are used in therapeutic goods already and are not classed as dangerous, the same nicotine in similar strengths are used in e-cigs, there is misalignment here and only nicotine is pure form should be restricted (Schedule 7).

The Supreme court decision in WA was farcical, the defendant simply ran out of money. The law was designed to prevent the sale of cigarette shaped toy & foods, a gross misuse of the law by our government as S106 is was designed to protect children from exposure to cigarettes, e-cigs are not marketed to children. 

Besides that, e-cigs could be argued to not belong in this section because they are more akin to a reusable pipe, which are exempt from S106. E-cigs are unlike a tobacco product because you do not consume the device. The finding should have been appealed to the High Court.

 

By not allowing sensible regulation of the e-cig market the government is making it near impossible to address any of the issues stated, many of which are rare and over exaggerated. If you embrace regulation you can protect users through consumer law, instead the government chooses to use its laziness and inaction as an excuse to not even consider the net benefit the product brings to public health.

More laziness and double standard applies here. If the use of nicotine in any form is unsafe then why is it that youth (over 12yrs) can legally purchase nicotine from the supermarket or chemist ie Nicorette gum, quickmist & lozenges ?  You can’t make the statement that nicotine is unsafe to prevent a product to the market when it is already available in other products!

The first sentence is baseless fear mongering  followed by a statement that actually constitutes a major public health breakthrough! Smoking rates are plummeting and its being attributed to uptake of e-cigs in USA & UK. There is little to no evidence that e-cig use is a gateway into smoking, growing evidence is that it is a gateway OUT of smoking!

Its normal that whenever a new product or trend is introduced there will be an increase in complaints. Again, by not sensibly regulating the consumer product the government is not addressing the concerns. Australia already has millions of devices with lithium ion batteries rarely causing fires and burns, these are regulated by consumer law, e-cigs need the same.

Cigarettes continue to be in the top 3 of leading cause of home fires.

All this tells us really, is that WA Health are taking advice only from tobacco control zealots who are still defending outdated ideals.

We all know that almost 100% of the harm from smoking comes from the smoke. Remove the smoke you’ve removed more than 95% of the problem.

This from Clivebates.com

On the 95% risk reduction… this should be seen as a worst case and cautious claim based on current knowledge. There is currently no identified serious health risk associated with vaping, so it is best to see the residual 5% risk as an allowance for uncertainty. The claim for a 95% risk reduction is necessarily an expert judgement on the part of the authors mediated by PHE.  Their reason for optimism is down to what is known of the chemical constituents of e-cigarette vapour. Most of the constituents of cigarette smoke that are thought to cause harm are either not present in vapour or present at levels well below one twentieth of that in cigarette smoke. The physical basis for the claim is multiple studies of vapour toxicity compared to what is known about cigarette smoke.

https://www.clivebates.com/public-health-england-says-truthful-realistic-things-about-e-cigarettes/#95percent

This statement is dangerous for smokers, it is NOT good public health policy to ignore the principle of harm reduction. There is a product available which is attractive to smokers and far safer. It has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives and this government is attempting to ban it. This action is inhumane, unethical and could amount to malpractice. It is not in the interest of public health.

A statement aimed to cause fear when in fact it’s a normal phenomenon for a new product. Product use in first years starts small and with uptake you would expect doubles, trebles and the like. In fact, the use of such a ground-breaking product will (and should) sky rocket.

As stated earlier it is not a therapeutic good, its an alternative and it’s a far safer alternative that has the potential to save lives. It takes the smoke out of smoking, this is what is killing people. This technology has been around for almost 10 years and there are no reports of serious harm to users health. The time for waiting is over. Supporting a “total ban” is now dangerous to the health of Australian public.