Inquiry into: Personal choice and community impacts

Australian Senate Committee
Senate Standing Committees on Economics

18 September 2015

Excerpt of the New Nicotine Alliance submission

There is a huge disconnect in Australia where we see e-cigarettes as such a massive threat to health that it requires heroin level penalties and strident campaigns by huge organisations backed by millions of public dollars to stop them. This is perhaps the first time in history that people seeking to access a safer alternative have to become criminals and buy on the black market to do so. Elsewhere in the world nations like the UK are seeing the benefits of liberalised regulation of e-cigarettes and are increasingly actively encouraging their use at an official level.

The advent of this consumer led revolution in e-cigarette use has the real potential to accelerate the end of smoking at a much faster rate than has ever seemed possible before. There is no evidence of any negative population effects in mature e-cigarette markets elsewhere in the world. There is growing evidence of beneficial effects in the increase of smoking cessation overall and a reduced incidence of youth uptake of smoking. To ban and restrict these products to make it hard or impossible for smokers to switch, without good evidence based reasons, could in time be seen as a negligent or even criminal act against human rights, causing untold death and misery by the maintenance of smoking.

Dr Attila Danko,
President of the New Nicotine Alliance, Australia,
BMed, FRACGP

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