Breaking News: Australia Considers Ban on Tobacco Cigarettes, Forcing Smokers to Use Electronic Cigarettesby James Dunworth Industry
Update: The University of Queensland is now reporting that the study is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant, and not by the Australian government, while Dr Coral Gartner Health Canal is disputing the whole story. (Thanks to Gregory Conley for the link.)
According to The Age National, Australia is to consider a ban on tobacco cigarettes from 2015 if tests on electronic cigarettes prove the vapour is safer than the tobacco smoke.
The Australian government has poured a million dollars in to tests to determine if e-cigarettes are safer or more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes.
Since every other test has found that electronic cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes (even tests which have found carcinogens have found them to be hundreds or thousands of times lower than in cigarette smoke) at first glance it looks like the ban could be a done thing.
However, the plans could be scuppered if the newly elected Conservative government takes a more liberal approach than the current Labour government.
A Massive Change in Tone
This is quite surprising, since the Australian government has been quite anal about allowing e-cigarettes with nicotine, which is classified as as a poison, to be sold.
One of our retailers in Australia (page since removed) was told he would be shut down if he sold e-cigs with nicotine, and his customers have had to come to our UK website to buy nicotine refills and e-liquid.
Fortunately, Australia does still allow people to buy nicotine refills and e-liquid from abroad, but this means people have to deal with hefty postage charges AND long delays. Still, despite the disadvantages, Australians vapers report it is not just healthier but cheaper than buying tobacco cigarettes.
What do you think?
Scientists argue that it is obvious that electronic cigarettes are safer. The problem with cigarettes is the delivery method, not nicotine, which has a similar risk profile to caffeine.
And fear-mongering that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes ignores a massive Action on Smoking and Health study that found that 0% of e-cigarette users were non-smokers.
But is removing choice really the right choice? Despite the obvious health benefits, I still think that's it up to smokers what they do with their bodies.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Story Source: The Age National