Fourty leading international and Australian academics and researchers including myself have written to the Therapeutics Goods Administration in support of the application to make lower concentrations of nicotine available for use in electronic 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 being a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
Because the primary addictive element of tobacco smoke, nicotine is area of the problem. However, it may also be portion of the solution. Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers with the alternative way to get the nicotine that these are addicted with no tobacco smoke that causes almost all of the harm from smoking.
As well as delivering nicotine, e-cigarettes replicate several important aspects of the “smoking experience”. This includes the hand-to-mouth movement and the sensory and social facets of the habit of smoking that smokers frequently miss whenever they try to quit.
How harmful is nicotine?
The medical effects of nicotine are relatively minor. It is really not a carcinogen and will not cause respiratory disease. It has only relatively minor effects on the heart, including short-lived rises in heartrate and blood pressure levels, constriction of coronary arteries and an increase in the contracting of the heart muscle.
Nicotine in pregnancy harms the baby’s developing brain and lungs and reduces growth. Additionally it is bad for the adolescent brain, delays wound healing and increases insulin resistance. There exists some evidence in laboratory studies that nicotine may promote existing cancers.
However, when separated from the toxins in tobacco smoke and found in its pure form, there is little proof long term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Studies have found the risks from vaping are unlikely to get a lot more than 5% of the chance of smoking, and may be substantially below this. As the vast majority of vapor cigarette for sale users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents an enormous health benefit for individuals who move to vaping.
The result of vaping on bystanders can also be considered to be negligible. E-cigarettes release lower levels of nicotine and minimal levels of other chemicals to the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without significant health hazards to bystanders.
Recent studies have found nicotine is far less toxic than previously thought. Most cases of intentional overdose with nicotine solutions bring about prompt vomiting and full recovery.
Similarly, accidental poisoning in children typically causes mild adverse effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine could be prevented with common sense, childproof packaging and warning labels, the same as other potentially toxic medicines and cleaning products located in the home.
Overseas experience has demonstrated e-cigarettes usually are not a gateway to smoking for young people. Although adolescents are testing e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The fantastic greater part of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
Actually, the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting being an “exit gateway” and they are displacing smoking. It is actually obviously better for young people never to use e-cigarettes, but vaping is preferable to smoking.
Smokers who want to reduce the health hazards from smoking are utilizing e-cigarettes almost exclusively as a safer option 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 the significant extent for temporary, not permanent, abstinence (for instance, in places in which you can’t smoke).
Why nicotine needs to be legalised
Paradoxically, current Australian laws ban a less harmful form of nicotine intake (e-cigarettes) while allowing the widespread sale of the very most lethal kind of nicotine intake (cigarettes). Regardless of the legal restrictions and difficulties of access, e-cigarette use has become growing rapidly in Australia.
Amending the Poisons Standard will allow smokers that are unable or unwilling to give up smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. It is also legally used in nicotine-replacement therapies like patches, so just why not e-cigarettes?
Regulation under the Australian Consumer Law would improve product safety and quality, restrict sales to minors and ensure child-resistant containers and appropriate advertising. It would also remove the black market as well as the risks associated with it.
Research conducted recently estimated over 6 million European Union citizens have tried e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Throughout the uk, 1.3 million ex-smokers are using an e-cigarette. Similarly, chances are tens of thousands of Australians will give up smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.