Call to reconsider nicotine vaping regulations in Australia

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Update time : 2023-04-25 11:46:18
The University of Queensland (UQ), also known as "UQ," is a world-renowned research institution and one of the top 50 universities in the world. In the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject, UQ's business program was ranked 39th globally and 1st in Australia. (Image source: UQ News)
Recently, Wayne Hall, an honorary professor at the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research at the University of Queensland, stated that current Australian regulations on nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes are not effective and that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has acknowledged this view. "In Australia, nicotine e-cigarette products can only be legally prescribed by a doctor and sold to adults who want to quit smoking at a pharmacy," said Professor Hall. "However, we see a thriving black market that sells unregulated e-cigarette products to children and adults, and very few adult e-cigarette users purchase them through legal prescription channels." Professor Hall suggested that nicotine e-cigarette products sold in licensed shops that have undergone rigorous age verification procedures could limit teenage use and help adult smokers quit. He also recommended that the e-cigarette industry adopt age-restricted consumer model regulations to regulate the industry. As time goes on, with the implementation of age-restricted consumer model regulations, profits in the black market will decrease, and most of the market will be replaced by legal and regulated products.
In 2019, a national drug strategy household survey found that e-cigarettes were the most popular smoking cessation and reduction aid in Australia, and research found that they were more effective than other nicotine replacement therapies. "If people have never smoked before, then using e-cigarettes is not common," said Professor Hall. "There is evidence to suggest that nicotine e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking, but rather keep young people away from traditional cigarettes." Professor Hall said that policy makers need to strike a balance between making nicotine e-cigarette products convenient for adult smokers to obtain and limiting access to minors. "The main goal is to reduce smoking-related deaths and diseases," said Professor Hall. "E-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies are not risk-free, but e-cigarettes are a less harmful choice for adult smokers." Policy makers need to consider the harmful and unintended consequences of overregulation and call for Australia to reconsider its e-cigarette regulations.
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