Forty top international and Australian academics and researchers including myself have written to the Therapeutics Goods Administration in support of the application to make low concentrations of nicotine designed for use within e cigarettes (“vaping”).
Within Australia, it really is illegal to possess or use nicotine other than in tobacco or nicotine-replacement products, as nicotine is classified inside the Poisons Standard as being a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
Since the primary addictive part of tobacco smoke, nicotine is area of the problem. However, it may also be part of the solution. Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers with an alternative way of getting the nicotine which these are addicted without the tobacco smoke which induces many of the harm from smoking.
Along with delivering nicotine, e-cigarettes replicate several crucial sides from the “smoking experience”. This consists of the hand-to-mouth movement and also the sensory and social elements of the habit that smokers frequently miss whenever they attempt to quit.
How harmful is nicotine?
The health effects of nicotine are relatively minor. It is far from a carcinogen and fails to cause respiratory disease. It has only relatively minor effects on the heart, such as short-lived rises in heart rate and blood pressure levels, constriction of coronary arteries and an increase in the contracting in the heart muscle.
Nicotine in pregnancy harms the baby’s developing brain and lungs and reduces growth. It is additionally damaging to the adolescent brain, delays wound healing and increases insulin resistance. There is certainly some evidence in laboratory studies that nicotine may promote existing cancers.
However, when separated through the toxins in tobacco smoke and found in its pure form, there is very little proof of long term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Research has found the medical risks from vaping are unlikely to be more than 5% of the potential risk of smoking, and may be substantially less than this. As the vast majority of vapor cig store users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents a huge health benefit for those who switch to vaping.
The impact of vaping on bystanders can also be considered to be negligible. E-cigarettes release low levels of nicotine and minimal amounts of other chemicals into the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without any significant health problems to bystanders.
Recent studies have found nicotine is much less toxic than previously thought. Many instances of intentional overdose with nicotine solutions result in prompt vomiting and full recovery.
Similarly, accidental poisoning in children typically causes mild side effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine can be prevented with good sense, childproof packaging and warning labels, much like other potentially toxic medicines and cleaning products found in the home.
Overseas experience indicates e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking for young adults. Although adolescents are experimenting with e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The fantastic most of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
Actually, the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting as an “exit gateway” and they are displacing smoking. It really is obviously better for young people never to use e-cigarettes, but vaping is better than smoking.
Smokers who want to reduce the health problems from smoking are using e-cigarettes almost exclusively being a safer alternative to combustible tobacco. After 10 years of overseas’ experience, there is certainly xocplg evidence e-cigarettes are renormalising smoking, are undermining tobacco control or are used to any significant extent for temporary, not permanent, abstinence (for example, in places that you can’t smoke).
Why nicotine needs to be legalised
Paradoxically, current Australian laws ban a less harmful type of nicotine intake (e-cigarettes) while allowing the widespread sale of the very most lethal type of nicotine intake (cigarettes). In spite of the legal restrictions and difficulties of access, electronic cigarette use has been growing rapidly around australia.
Amending the Poisons Standard would allow smokers that are unable or unwilling to give up smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. Additionally it is legally found in nicotine-replacement therapies including patches, so why not e-cigarettes?
Regulation beneath the Australian Consumer Law would improve product safety and quality, restrict sales to minors and make certain child-resistant containers and appropriate advertising. It could also remove the black market and the risks associated with it.
Research recently estimated over 6 million European Union citizens used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. In the united kingdom, 1.3 million ex-smokers are employing an electronic cigarette. Similarly, it is likely tens of thousands of Australians will stop smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.