On Thursday 23 March, Australia’s Therapeutics Good Administration will announce whether the application for low concentrations of nicotine to be made available for use in electronic cigarettes (“vaping”) has been accepted.

“‘Twas Mulga Bill from Eaglehawk that caught the vaping craze … “

with apologies to Banjo Paterson

BETWEEN 1980 and 1982, a new non-steroidal drug, benoxaprofen, was approved for sale in the US, Europe and the UK. Access to this drug was advocated for by a band of key opinion leaders. It was aggressively promoted as disease-modifying – a claim unsupported by evidence. At the time, it was reported to be the most successful new drug launch ever. The Australian regulator was criticised for following careful processes that delayed approval in Australia. By August 1982, benoxaprofen was removed from the market after reports of a raft of deaths from liver and renal failure. No deaths occurred in Australia.

Wind forward to 2017 and the debate on access to e-cigarettes to Australia has a startling resemblance.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) faces criticism for insisting that its common standards for efficacy and safety be met for e-cigarettes before steps are made to ease access. Shrill as they may be, the zealous vaping advocates and a limited number of supportive academics can provide no data that support long term safety of e-cigarettes.

Even if safety was assured, three societal questions about e-cigarettes would remain.

First, when used with the intent of achieving cessation of combustible tobacco use, are they effective in transitioning users to sole use of e-cigarettes and ideally to complete cessation of both?

Second, in young people naïve to tobacco use, does the availability of e-cigarettes divert youth from combustible tobacco to e-cigarette use only?

Finally, as a policy diversion, would the advent of e-cigarettes alter tobacco control policy in such a way as to halt the current decline in smoking?

In the US and UK, where e-cigarette use has become widespread, most current e-cigarette users smoke combustible tobacco. This is consistent with trial evidence that the use of e-cigarettes does not increase smoking cessation rates compared with current best practice. As reducing smoking intensity has no health benefit, e-cigarettes fail the first test. This knowledge also serves to reframe the safety question. For most e-cigarette users, the relevant question is not whether e-cigarette use is intrinsically safe, but whether concurrent e-cigarette use and smoking is safer, similarly hazardous or more dangerous than smoking alone. This misses the point that e-cigarettes contain vehicles and solvents that should not be inhaled according to their manufacturers. There are simply not enough strong data at the present time to claim safety.

In the US in particular, e-cigarette use by young people has increased, reversing a long term trend of reduced nicotine use to the extent that campaigns are now being established to address this trend. Among young adults, most recent e-cigarette users also use combustible tobacco and many smokers were once e-cigarette users. Evaluation of e-cigarettes as a pathway to smoking is fraught with methodological challenges, but is it clear that use does not divert great numbers from proceeding to combustible tobacco use. A useful societal purpose is not defined for youth use.

An oft-quoted figure is that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking. The figure, reverberating as it does in an echo chamber of like-minded academics, arose from a 2-day group discussion of selected individuals, a number with very well documented connections with the tobacco industry or e-cigarette makers. It was facilitated by an individual who previously contributed glowingly to the British American Tobacco sustainability report and served an alliance of obesogenic food manufacturers. This exercise used multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) – an economic tool used to combine hard and soft data, often in conflict with each other, in order to reach a decision. MCDA would well serve the optimal siting of a public facility or the purchase of a car – where cost, safety, reliability, amenity and prestige might be elements, but is not a technique by which the harms of two products can be compared.

However, it sure is sexy terminology if said quickly. This, at best shaky, estimate of being 95% less harmful became the focus of reports by Public Health England and others. For what it is worth, e-cigarettes were assessed as three times more harmful than nicotine replacement therapy, but this statistic has attracted little focus.

It took 40 years after cigarette smoking in men became widespread after World War One for authorities to conclude that it caused lung cancer, and another 10 years for the link with heart disease to be agreed. Before then, certain scientific experts, as now with e-cigarettes, had achieved a comforting consensus that the introduction of filtered cigarettes would make cigarettes safe. This was plausible, but plausibility is not a regulatory standard. Switching to low-tar, so-called light, cigarettes or reducing the numbers of cigarettes smoked each day were also lauded as means to achieve smoking harm reduction, but neither does. Rather, as flawed strategies, they perpetuated smoking risks.

Accelerated use of e-cigarettes in England between 2012 and 2014 occurred at a time when the decline in smoking rates has plateaued not accelerated. In contrast, Australia leads the world in reducing smoking rates using evidence-based public information campaigns, innovative public policy and selective use of approved medicines. Creating a vaping culture is unnecessary. The expressed interest of tobacco manufacturers in public health, as they evidence by their investment in e-cigarettes, rather obviously may be seen as a strategy to prolong combustible tobacco use.

As for vapers, with apologies to Banjo Paterson, remember that Mulga Bill’s bicycle ended up in Dead Man’s Creek.

New research on e-cigarettes and lung health will be presented this week at the Annual Scientific Meeting for Leaders in Lung Health & Respiratory Science, TSANZRS 2017.

Professor Matthew Peters is Past President of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), is Head of Respiratory Medicine at Concord Hospital, and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Macquarie University.


Low concentrations of nicotine should not be made available for use in electronic cigarettes
  • Strongly disagree (84%, 940 Votes)
  • Strongly agree (12%, 133 Votes)
  • Disagree (2%, 19 Votes)
  • Agree (2%, 18 Votes)
  • Neutral (1%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,118

Loading ... Loading ...

54 thoughts on “E-cigarettes – the case for caution

  1. Joy says:

    I only have 2 things to say.

    I’m glad he’s not my doctor, with a closed mind like his, who knows what alternatives to his practise are available for your health.

    And how about doing some proper research instead of relying on TGA. These are the people who STILL allow Champix and Zyban to be used and yet these drugs can have really bad side affects that can kill through suicide.

    Get the real facts people!

  2. Sara says:

    I suggest checking the latest smoking data released from the UK, if you truly believe that vaping doesnt aid in smoking cessation. Three scientifically valid papers from three reputable sources, confirm vaping outperforms NRT in quitting.
    I have researched extensively in regards to vaping. Newest research indicates that toxin levels (blood and saliva samples) in vapors are equivalent to those using NRT. Smokers were high, as were duel users. Using real life in testing has also shown that although toxic particles are present, there is no change in density when vaping. In other words, they were detected in the baseline air sample. The studies showing toxic levels, used methodology that was not realistic. Heating coils beyond device capability, using base flavour instead of ejuice, long draw time and over frequent puffing ( 20 draws held for 5 seconds at 10 second intervals???), no differentiating between Vg and Pg conc…the errors are endless. Subjective views are not scientifically valid, as much as WHO and other health/regulatory bodies wish for.
    The PGA missed an opportunity when it declined legalising nicotine in ejuice. Not only could this have provided an industry to create and export ejuice locally and globally, well regulated and providing employment, it could have reduced the deaths and disease that smoking tobacco causes. Better population health, economic benefits and a regulated product.
    All thrown away …..why?

  3. Sky says:

    Governments, especially the Australian are so illiterate and lacking in knowledge in regards to E Cigarettes over Analog cigarettes. To them it is basically a major money scamming loss. There is a saying ” It is easier to criticise and run something down, as opposed to taking the time to learn.
    Facts have proven that changing from Analog to E Cigarettes is beneficial in so many ways. Wake up all those so called Analysts that go to University for free, compliments of tax payers and learn something positive.

  4. Ewunia says:

    There is another anecdotal piece of evidence – myself. My story is like many described above. A smoker for almost 50 years, first e-cig in December 2011, had one puff of a smoke 6 months after and found it disgusting, not a single cigarette ever since and no desire for one. The continued anti-vaping propaganda is more than upsetting. I was so upset by it that I now have a 20-year supply of nicotine and hardware. Since I’m 68 it will last me a lifetime. If I’m a criminal, so be it.

  5. Sam says:

    As someone who hasnt smoked a cigarette in over 5 years by using e-cigarettes, I honestly cannot wrap my head around those who are against these products

  6. Sol says:

    TGA ? open your eyes and minds technology has changed a tiny bit since world war 1 – one of your excuses in the article.

    You would need to analyse and understand the UK model and data available from their experience.
    Without the life saving invention of e-cigarettes, Thousands of people are dying or being crippled from cigarettes and ineffective nicotine replacement therapy products every day, yet they are freedom of choice items.

    – There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful in comparison with cigarettes.
    – There is no evidence that nicotine patches, gum, etc. are better than cold turkey quitting.
    – There is no evidence that nicotine patches, gum, etc. are less harmful than e-cigarettes

    Yet pharmaceutical companies and the government are making BIG money from cigarettes and nicotine replacement products, and millions of peoples’ suffering.

    Poor / disadvantaged people are often smokers and often they will go without food, medication, etc. for cigarettes – high $ prices are Not the answer.

    If a lifetime smoker lands in hospital, they Don’t get extra treatment despite all that extra tax they have paid.
    Though they’ve likely paid more in tax than Malcolm Turnbull does for private health insurance over the years ?
    say at $30 Tax per day – $10,000 per year – for 10 years that’s $100,000 in tax ! (or health insurance?)

    It’s a criminal wrought, the tga, pbs, and the rest of the government are no better then organised crime in the prohibition era.

    Also the question for this poll is strange “Should not be available” appears misleading / nearly a paradox ?

    Kindest Regards

  7. crisis says:

    >In contrast, Australia leads the world in reducing smoking rates using evidence-based public information campaigns, innovative public policy and selective use of approved medicines.

    I would probably suggest the number one reason is the cost of buying a pack of smokes is now $30 – $40. The people who still buy them are either so rich they will pay anything or so poor they should not be able to afford it but buy them anyway.

    It would also be interesting to see if the rampant black market trade on tobacco is included in the statistics.

    I was advised to switch to e-cigs by arguably Australia’s most respected lung specialist. He apologised that I would he could not assist me with this.

  8. robbie says:

    People can order 100mg of nicotine and even stronger from overseas. If they vape that they will get very ill. Vendors should be able to sell nicotine juice thats at a safe level thats already mixed. capped at 36mg as unflavoured and capped at 18mg as a ready to vape.

  9. Dyslexic Vaper says:

    I read the question wrong and voted “Strongly agree” instead of “Strongly disagree”.

    I’m sorry 🙁

  10. Paul Cunningham says:

    I smoked for over 20 years. Switched to vaping in 2013 and have not gone back. Sure quiting nicotine would be better but in my opinion plus the five or six friends that have also swapped to ecigs we are far, far ahead.

    Even if its just 5% (rather than the 95%) less harmful than traditional tobacco smoking, making access to ecigs harder than cigarettes is simply killing people.

    There is simply no other way of saying it.

  11. Ian says:

    It took 40 years to see the link to Lung Cancer. But this was at a time before we knew about antibiotics or the level of surgery and diagnosis we have today. A totally outdated argument by idiots.

  12. Steve Kelly says:

    So many echo chambers, but there is no point in claiming not to be another, as none of us has capacity to do otherwise.

    We all can choose not to deride the opinions of others, at least where those opinions are honest and fair.

    Given that all nations/races/peoples have chosen SOME form of (potentially harmful) drug use, from chewing various leaves to coffee to alcohol and tobacco variants, it seems to me that people will continue to do so with available tools and substances. How we can make these safer, rather than ‘safe’, is the real task before us. Like cars, we cannot reduce harms to zero (until we are in a grave).

    So, there is ample evidence that the law is a futile tool, and so are modern medical investigations, when dealing with stuff people like to do. Losing the term “e-cigarettes” would be a good place to start, since so many people are not thinking “cigarette” when vaping a flavour with no nicotine, for example. The perjorative term assists the anti-camp, but as many have contributed, misconstrues the discussion.

    What evidence is there that randomised controlled double blinded studies have anything useful to add to this discussion? They are the wrong tool for most things, they produce difficult results which are overturned from time to time by further studies, most of them are never subjected to confirmatory repeat testing (isn’t this the real test for science??) ….

    Prof Peters uses sufficient words in his writing, of the type: “may” or “if”, that his opinion can be accepted as just that – his opinion. And I am first to suggest his will hold more weight than mine, but that is still all it is.

    His statements of negative science, like ‘they have not proven … ‘ are matched by the lack of opposing evidence, so his side has also not proven the opposite proposition.

    In my own opinion, in the current social climate, if I wish to sell a drug with a clinical application to a certain disease, I should be required to support my claims with science, and as a professional community we must continue to try to improve the science and weed out the errors and falsifications (loads of work in that sandpit!). However, if I have an idea that others like, they ought to be able to choose it freely to the same extent as similar products are out there. I cannot prove my latest movie will be enjoyed by 85% of viewers, nor should I need to do so. If tobacco companies are allowed to sell their products, then their competitors should be able to access the same marketplace, within the applicable rules to all contenders. THIS IS NOT A MEDICAL PRODUCT UNDER CONSIDERATION. If we are to ban vaping, surely we must first ban smoking!

    As its ill-health implications arise, they will be publicised in due course – or perhaps not (if history indicates increased safety, as many above testify)? Let the people make the choice, as they do with cars, adventures and, well, ‘friends’. We cannot legislate common sense, but we can do a lot of harm trying.

  13. Janus says:

    Smoked for 20 years, now smoke free!

    I asked my doctor about e cigs and he said they haven’t been shown to assist in smoking cessation. I have tried every approved NRT except for inhaler and chantix. I had to use 3 times 21 mg patches just to get out of withdrawal. The lozenges were no good because the dosage was too low, and using more than 1 lozenge at a time was a no-go due to a film the lozenge leaves in your mouth that hinders nic absorption. Same with the gum, the dose was too low for me since I’m smoked heavily. Cold turkey didn’t work for me because my GI system stopped working. I figured I could ride it out (that it was temporary) but I ended up in so much stomach pain and bloating that I caved and had a ciggy & that fixed the problem.

    So having to face smoking again (eugh!) I caved and bought an ecig and nic juice from New Zealand. I figure I can try it and if I don’t like it then I can keep it on standby in case I run out of tobacco. Let me tell you it’s the best thing ever! I do NOT want to go back to cigarettes ever! I do not ‘dual use’ nor has it even crossed my mind.

    I chose a MTL (mouth to lung) vape and while looking at the list of “acceptable” NRTs I saw the nicotine inhaler, which appears to work the same way (liquid > vapour = inhaled then absorbed in the mouth and throat).

    SO WHY is a nicotine inhaler “acceptable NRT” and not a MTL vape which works the same way?

    I think it’s terrible that the immediate reaction is BAN BAN BAN or alternately to make it as difficult and cumbersome as possible to even acquire the e cig & nic juice to even try the method. Let alone thinking of changing it to ALSO require a doctors prescription to import!

    If you allow only “low concentrations” of nicotine containing e liquid, then people like ME will have the same damn problem we have with other approved NRTs – they are not strong enough for us! The best thing about e cigs is their versatility and customizability to each individual user!

  14. Vapolitique.blogspot.ch says:

    Harm Reduction is Human Right. Condemning smokers to illness and certain death is a barbaric policy. Access to nicotined vaping must be legalised. Now!

  15. Alan Beard says:

    Matthew Peters bemoans echo chambers, however this article is factually inaccurate throughout, interspersed with inappropriate commentary towards vapers.

    So I ask the question was this article designed to satisfy his echo chamber?,because it certainly is not a well crafted or argued composition designed to appeal to anyone other than them.

    Does launching an attack eg ”Shrill as they may be, the zealous vaping advocates” lend credence to his argument or simply display his blind prejudice towards the topic. The whole tone and accuracy of this article was akin to the gutter press, totally unworthy of a highly qualified academic.

    I made the error of commenting previously and including links that seemed to disqualify it from inclusion here.

  16. Alex says:

    I’d be dead now if a good friend had not introduced me to e-cigs.

  17. Gary Waters says:

    I think comments by Bill Medley shows a complete lack of understanding of cigarette addiction. Sorry Bill, but labelling people with opposing views to yours as “hysterical” and “nanny state bleating”, kills your credibility and shows you have nothing. Cherry picking articles, which anyone can write, and using them to outright dismiss the largest peer reviewed research study that we have, is just stupid. The point about “nanny state bleating” is that it is objectionable that the TGA is using its regulatory powers for medicines, to ban a successful quitting aid, by including nicotine as a controlled substance in criminal law. Why doesn’t the TGA also include tobacco and alcohol as controlled substances? It is also objectionable that organisations such as the Cancer Council spends large amounts of publically donated money intended for cancer research and services for cancer patients to instead lobby government both state and federally against ecigs when there no evidence ecigs even causes cancer. It is also objectionable that Cancer Council presents to government only selected cherry picked articles complete with emotive language (think of the children), rather than a fair overview of the research as a whole (e.g. the PHE study). Bill, I support your right to form your own opinion on the best quitting aid, but I do not support the use of criminal law to enforce yours. That is what is referred to as Nanny State. Clearly ecigs is an effective quitting tool, unless you also cherry pick out the testimonials here in other comments.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I smoked for over 30 years and literally gave up overnight due to my discovery of vaping. Like most I presume I had heard of ecigs but had not given them much thought or hope as I had failed miserably in every other conventional method that I had attempted. The truth is if my non smoking wife had not been on at me to at least try them I don’t know if I had even bothered.
    I met a colleague of hers who had stopped smoking via vaping and bought my first starter kit not long after.

    Much as someone has commented above I had basically acknowledged the awful fact that my dreadful habit would prematurely end my life and what could I do about it. As unbelievable as it may sound that is the absolute truth.

    Here I am now after nearly 4 years and I have not had a cigarette since and enjoy an infinitely brighter outlook for the remainder of my years.
    The only reason for this is vaping.

    I’m no scientist but have read numerous surveys and opinions from ‘ experts ‘. All I can say is that I know I feel much healthier and think it’s an utter disgrace that The Australian Government is still following the course they are.

    Is every vaper who uses nicotine a criminal or simply somebody who has given up smoking?

  19. Michael says:

    I’m 69 years old and smoked for over 50 of those years. I didn’t want to quit smoking because I enjoyed it so much. Anyway I knew I couldn’t quit because I had tried many times over the years using the approved methods and always failed. Although I enjoyed smoking I certainly wasn’t enjoying the long term effects it was having on my health.

    My Cousin in the UK told me about e-cigs 4 years ago and so after doing a lot of research I ordered a starter kit and nicotine from overseas. Within minutes of using this device I absolutely new I wouldn’t need to smoke another cigarette, and I haven’t!

    My health has improved in so many ways. I’m now able to do things that were impossible four years ago. I often walk 5 kilometres in the morning and then do the house work or gardening when I get home. I’m more active now than I was ten years ago and enjoying life to the full with all the extra money in my pocket. I’m never short of breath and have heaps of energy.

    You can discuss the pros and cons of e-cigs until the cows come home. I’m living proof that they work.

    You will probably dismiss my story just like the millions of others.

  20. Emelle says:

    Matthew Peters, please explain how, in any way, shape or form, there is ANY resemblance between Benoxaprofen and vaping?? The cloud of nicotine-laced vapour I’m currently exhaling has far more substance than your flimsy analogy. Benoxaprofen killed multiple people in just a few years. How many people has vaping directly killed?

    We as a nation should be far more outraged about the thousands of Australian smokers who have died from smoking-related diseases while our law makers (seduced by the anti-vaping brigade and Big Tobacco) sit around twiddling their collective thumbs.

    I am yet another vaping success story. Introduced to smoking at age 11, I had spent the better (or worse) part of 35 years addicted to cigarettes. As a life-long asthma sufferer I knew that smoking was shortening my life, but nothing could stop the insatiable and maddening craving for nicotine. One day in September 2015 I was standing in a supermarket aisle when I had the urge to cough. It was that kind of cough that is instantly recognisable as belonging to a long-term smoker. An elderly gentleman up the other end of the aisle slowly made his way down to me, looked me kindly in the eye and said “Bout time you gave up, isn’t it love?” Within the week I’d started vaping imported nicotine, and haven’t had a cigarette since. Not even a single drag.

    Before September 2015 my resting heart rate was over 100 bpm. Last week, sitting in my GP’s office, it was measured at 64 bpm. After nearly 50 years of living in this body, I think I would be the best judge of what feels right for me. And let me tell you, vaping feels right.

    I don’t vape because it looks “cool” – in fact, I tend to vape surreptitiously in public because many people are ignorant and judgemental. I’ve been the butt of jokes, been sniggered at, and often openly stared at because of my vaping. But I’ve also had the opportunity to educate inquisitive smokers about vaping and how it could change their lives for the better. Imagine how much easier that would be if they could get their nicotine fix at the nearest vape supplies shop?

    This madness has to stop. Regardless of the power the government and Big Tobacco think they have, they’ll never be the boss of me. Viva la revolution.

  21. Glenn Corrigan says:

    Its been two years since i have had a cigarette after 25 years. A mate in the USA told me about vaping, i did heaps of research and decided to try it and see how i went.

    The only thing i hate is the word ” e-cigarette”, they are not cigarettes in any way, shape or form, they are vaporizers.

    I tried many times to give up using the normal nrt items including champix, but none of them worked for more than a month, then i was back on the cigarettes.

    Since i have been vaping, i can breathe again, i have more energy and do not stink like an ash tray.

    I make all my own juice so i know exactly what is in it. The ingredients are vegetable Glycerin, top quality food flavorings and of course liquid nicotine.

    It would be nice if these so called medical experts actually took the time to talk to people that have given up cigarettes and started vaping, to get a feel for how important vaping is to them, because if it wasnt for vaping i know myself and millions of other people whould be still smoking cigarettes.

    So please if you are a doctor and care about people’s lives then you would make liquid nicotine legal for those over 18 and ban cigarettes.

  22. I_am_zoltan says:

    A healthy alternative to dementia ? Think all the facts.

  23. Steve Hatton says:

    I was a smoker for 40+ years until 10 months ago when I decided after many attempts to quit to try vaping I bought a simple starter kit smoked my last 2 hand rolled cigarettes and haven’t had another one since , within 2 weeks I had lost the smokers cough that I had for yrs wasn’t coughing a lung up for 20 minutes when I lay down in bed at night followed by another 20 minute coughing bout in the morning , I was able to appreciate the flavour of food and beverages again and I also don’t stink like a walking ashtray any more ,so to continue to say that vaping isnt a viable method of tobacco harm reduction is in my opinion complete nonsense and its time that all the “experts” who keep relying on spurious studies actually took notice of the real evidence and recommend that Nicotine containing E Liquids be allowed for sale in Australia instead of us having to source our supplies from overseas !

  24. Clive Bates says:

    It’s helpful for Professor Peters to reveal both his contemptuous attitude, common in public health, and simplistic misunderstandings all in one quote:

    “Clive Bates also presumably believes in a magic pudding whereby new-generation e-cigarettes can deliver more nicotine but not more harm from toxicants. Relying on very limited toxicology assessments from first-generation devices, discounting in the process heavy metal exposures that are greater in some e-cigarettes than in combustible tobacco, whilst speculating on risks is not a basis for public policy.”

    That is exactly the proposition: e-cigarettes deliver nicotine with fewer toxicants than cigarettes, by a very large margin. That is because most of the toxins in cigarette smoke are products of combustion of tobacco leaf (not heavy metals). E-cigarette – of any generation – do not involve any combustion and therefore no products of combustion and only minute exposure to metals. I am surprised such a distinguished commentator advancing views with this degree of confidence would not know this.

    The reason that RCP and PHE have released carefully-worded estimates of relative risk is that the British public has been misled by irresponsible academics, notably from Australia and the United States, compounded by journalists that there is little difference in risk between vaping and smoking or that nothing is known about risk. This is complete nonsense – even the most fanatical prohibitionist accepts a substantial reduction in risk. But this misperception is a fabulous gift to the cigarette trade, and not a gift UK medical and public health experts wish to offer. Australia has been even more generous to the cigarette business – actually banning a low-risk competitive rival to cigarettes… What a great idea…! Grant exclusive rights to the consumer nicotine market to only the most dangerous products.

    And by the way, smoking has been falling significantly in the UK as vaping has risen. Professor Peters may far from London, but he can’t just make stuff up to persuade gullible Australian officials to do more to protect the cigarette business.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been cigarette free for 262 days. In the past I have tried patches, gum and inhaler. I stopped using every single one because I had side effects.

    It’s pretty good who far research has come in 35 years, so to compare something that happened back then is pretty laughable. To deny someone a way of a healthy alternative, is pretty much giving them a death sentence. The research has been proven that e cigarettes are a healthier options compared to smoking cigarettes. Even if the results showed it was only 50% safer, it is still safer. Once again this country is behind in the times, all because there is a few people scared to lose a few $$$$.

  26. Jenny Stone says:

    Everyone knows someone who, despite all their best efforts, just can’t seem to join the majority and quit smoking cigarettes.

    I have an old friend like that who, five years ago, discovered vape pens on a Chinese website and out of desperation gave them a try. To her surprise they worked and she hasn’t smoked since. When I caught up with her for a coffee four years ago she was thrilled to tell me she hadn’t smoked for a year (she is still not smoking). I tried her vape pen and was curious enough to go online and purchase one even though I knew it wouldn’t work for me. Thankfully she broke the law and gave me some nicotine ejuice. I didn’t want to give up smoking as after failing to stay quit on two serious quit attempts I had accepted that I was probably going to die from smoking and was mostly ok with that because I really enjoyed it. No one was more surprised than I was to find I enjoyed the vaporiser more than smoking. I was an accidental quitter after 30 years of smoking.

    I’d been vaping for a couple of years when a friend who had never been able to kick the habit got diagnosed with early stage emphysema after 40 years of smoking. I helped her buy some vaping gear and broke the law by giving her some nicotine ejuice and she hasn’t smoked since. He violent coughing fits have completely gone and she no longer suffers with any of the symptoms of emphysema she’d had before. She hasn’t smoked now for 18mths. She had an elderly neighbour who had smoked all his life and couldn’t quit after trying everything…….and on and on it goes, I think you can guess the rest.

    These are absolutely true anecdotes and I feel so awful when I think about the thousands of Australian’s in the same situation that I and the people described above were in a few years ago, who will not enjoy the health and financial benefits we have because of ‘experts’ who make decisions that they think are best for others.

  27. Stephen York says:

    31 March 2014. That was the last day, or night, that I had a cigarette. It’s also the first night I set up my vaping device and started a change in my lifestyle and health. No more chest and bronchial infections, no flu’s, no coughing fits in the middle of the night, no more stench cuddling up to my partner or my kids, or walking in to a high level business meeting. No more severe cravings for that most addictive nicotine and tar delivery system we know as cigarettes. No more poisoning of my lungs and body.
    The tobacco revenue, the big pharma influence and money is a blight on our society and our freedom of choice.
    I will keep vaping as it has potentially given me back years of life. I can breathe, run, I don’t stink, and I have saved thousands of dollars.
    For those who are ignorant of the published facts, and mountains of anecdotal evidence, I say it’s time for you to do some research and wake up. People’s lives are changing for the better. Why would you not embrace this watershed period of our existence?
    Please, just let common sense prevail. I am happy for these comments to be published or to be contacted for further comments, anytime.

  28. Chris says:

    Vaping is less toxic than smoking….fact. You can narrow in on the unknown long term effects of vaping all you like but 4000+ chemicals including tar, carbon monoxide, and somewhere in the order of 40 carcinogens burnt at over 900 degrees C is more harmful than 3 or 4 ingredients heated to 180-250 degrees C….PERIOD. Even if (and it is not the case but just a fun hypothetical) all 4 ingredients were carcinogens, it would still only be 10% of those produced by tobacco. So….we obviously have a healthier alternative. Quit rates are massive with E-cigs (regardless of the fact the TGA has not taken the time to study this properly but 1000’s of studies worldwide have already been done). And nicotine doesn’t cause cancer, sticky black lungs or a lack of oxygen being able to be carried around the body. So….as long as cigarettes are available for purchase on our shelves….please explain more thoroughly why the obvious healthier alternative to traditional tobacco is not being embraced wholeheartedly by ALL doctors if, in fact, they actually give one iota about peoples health. Could it be the cutbacks doctors get from prescribing NRT’s made by pharma (which mind you….barely scratch the surface of the issue)? Could it be the taxes the Govt make from tobacco tax which, if it all disappeared tomorrow, would leave a 9 billion dollar whole in the budget? Articles like this one are not written from the view of people who actually care about smokers health I can tell you that much for free. And honestly any doctor who doesn’t embrace these devices for their patients when the evidence and logic is so sound, should have their licences revoked.

  29. Charlie McCracken says:

    The question for you Mr Peters is will you have the courage to embrace Tobacco Harm Reduction and stop promoting policies that will perpetuate smoking and the disease and death that it causes in Australia!

  30. Matthew Peters says:

    The problem with echo chambers is that you just can’t hear voices from outside. Fact 1 – PHE referenced the flawed Nutt/MCDA in its analysis and RCP referred both to Nutt and PHE. Fact 2- The 5%/95% figures comes from nowhere more substantial than opinionated minds but it is set at a level where the risk might be construed by the unknowing as negligible. What if it is really 20% or 30% or even 70%? All the many qualifiers in RCP both on terms of absence of long-term safety, re-involvement of the tobacco industry with neo-legitimacy and the perpetuation of smoking are seemingly dismissed with a 5% headline that, even if correct, relates only to one e-cigarette vs one combustible cigarette and speaks nothing of the harms of dual use. as I tried to highlight. Clive Bates also presumably believes in a magic pudding whereby new-generation e-cigarettes can deliver more nicotine but not more harm from toxicants. Relying on very limited toxicology assessments from first-generation devices, discounting in the process heavy metal exposures that are greater in some e-cigarettes than in combustible tobacco, whilst speculating on risks is not a basis for public policy. As an American Physiologist/Researcher once said – In God we trust – everyone else bring data. The data do not support a fall in smoking rates in the UK that is in any way commensurate with reported increases in e-cigarette use. It would have been wiser for ASH(UK) to track more vigorously ASH(Australia) in its support for the tobacco control policy changes in Australia – policies that have achieved much lower smoking rates in adults and particularly in youth. When UK smoking rates plummet below those in Australia it may be time to pay attention but for the moment in the UK it is, perversely, opportunity lost. Finally, this new engagement with tobacco industry satellites might be very well used by encouraging the industry to cease modifying tobacco with the pH manipulation and additive supplementation that has made the modern cigarettes as addictive as it is. Banning these practices so that cigarettes were less pleasant and less addictive would reduce harm. So would support for initiatives such as the Tobacco Free Generation. The question for Bates and his fellow travellers is whether they have the courage to take these on.

  31. Steve Douglas says:

    40 year pack a day habit ended immediately 3 years ago upon switching to vaping. Feel better than I have in decades! No desire anymore for combustible tobacco and the death it brings. I keep hearing folks like you cry “we need to err on the side of caution”, Dr. Peters, remember your HGippocratic oath, you DO realise “err” means to make a mistake? Quit killing people with your puritan close-minded dialogue…

  32. Cameron says:

    I , like many people here , am a vapour. Am I thank my lucky stars that I was able to be introduced to it by fellow work colleagues. I was a 30 pack a day smoker who had tried patches , gums , sprays and champix ( 3 times in 2yrs ). At most I quit for a month or so but there was always that craving for just 1 cigarette. 1 always lead to another and then I’m the space of a week I’d be back to where I was originally. I didn’t want to quit smoking as I enjoyed it but I knew I couldn’t afford it any more. So I thanked god that I found vaping. Not only do I save significant amounts of money but I feel much healthier , don’t stink and know that my second hand vape isn’t harmful to anyone. I researched a lot before trying it and was amazed that our government has adopted a pro vaping stance. Here is something that they don’t have to spend billions on in promoting as it promotes itself. I don’t know a single vapour that would want to go back to cigarettes after finding the pleasure that can come from vaping

  33. Dr Attila Danko, New Nicotine Alliance says:

    Kudos to MJA Insight for allowing free comment and debate.

    As Prof Peters says, what everyone agrees is the most rigorous RCT study so far (Bullen et al 2013) failed to demonstrate superiority in cessation to nicotine patches. Not withstanding the fact that this study used long obsolete devices from 6 years ago, and current devices are far more effective at nicotine delivery, it still showed that even the early versions of e-cigarettes were at least as effective as nicotine patches.

    Do we ban NRT chewing gum because it failed to demonstrate superiority to patches?

    No. We recognise that different solutions suit different people.

    It seems that in this debate we are rescuing combusted cigarettes from their bad reputation. People like Prof Peters do not think it is worth it for smokers to switch to vaping. If they cannot quit using the approved methods, they should simply continue to smoke. The implication is that smoking might not be so bad.

    However, like me, if you are appalled at the huge loss of life from smoking, you would accept any reasonable option that takes people away from smoking, and you certainly wouldn’t ban it if people chose to do it. The fact that hundreds of thousands of Australians are willing to break the law to do so shows how much people want another option like vaping.

    Many doctors supported prohibition of alcohol in the US and failed to shift their essentially moralistic position despite the evidence of the harm that it caused. However, alcohol could not be eradicated and in time the law changed to reflect reality. The same thing will occur in Australia with nicotine vaping. Harm reduction is always controversial when it is introduced, but as the evidence gets stronger and stronger, and the people vote with their feet, it too will be legalised.

    It is simply untenable to enforce the anti vaping laws, and they are in large part being ignored. This is not a new drug being introduced by a company. This is a consumer led movement of people receiving huge benefits to themselves for their choice to vape instead of smoke, benefits of such a magnitude that they are happy to risk punishment. Prof Peters wants nicotine vaping to remain illegal. What punishment does he suggest for vapers? Would he personally go face to face with a vaper who has quit smoking, and personally apply the prescribed punishment to them, in the full knowledge that they will then go back to smoking?

  34. Milanv8 says:

    Smoking since i was 15 im now 55 (40 smokes a day), i have been vaping for nearly 2 years, Since vaping i have not put a smoke to my mouth. With in weeks of vaping the cough, wheezing, phlem and just feeling like shit has all gone.
    I seem to have more energy. i Have tried all the patches,tablets and spray nothing really worked.

    I consider my habbit a hobby now, i make my own juices, rebuild my coils.

    All you anti vapers just go away and find something else to stimulate your brains.

    Its my body and i will do what i want to do with it.

  35. Geoffrey Vann says:

    AS a Brit,I was intrigued by this particular statement above:

    “Accelerated use of e-cigarettes in England between 2012 and 2014 occurred at a time when the decline in smoking rates has plateaued not accelerated.”

    A simple review of the evidence would have revealed this from the UK’s Office for National Statistics:

    “The proportion of adults smoking in Great Britain has generally been declining since the survey first
    included a question about smoking in 1974, from 45% in 1974 to 20% in 2012. Most of this decline
    happened between 1974 and 1994. The proportion of adults smoking continued to fall between 1994
    and 2007, but at a much slower rate. However, from 2007 to 2012 the rate of smoking has remained
    largely unchanged. While the proportion of women smokers has continued to decline over the past
    five years, the proportion of males smoking has changed very little.”

    From a 2012 prevalence of 20.4% in 2012,the rate fell as follows – 19.2%,18.8%,17.5%.You are right to identify the acceleration of ecig use from the end of 2012(when the first TV ad was shown) but if you are going to quote UK data,please use it honestly.

  36. Dan F says:

    Article sounds a lot like it came straight from Phillip Morris.

    So much misrepresentation it is not even worth addressing.

  37. Charlie McCracken says:

    Oh dear, Mr Bill Medley (the one who cannot sing!), firstly, you may not be able to sing but you sure have put together a medley of misrepresentations. Who is Steve Parry? Where did you find that the government goes to extreme lengths to help people give up smoking, the government probably makes more money from tobacco than anyone else and they are allowing people to readily access it and develop disease and death. By all means please point me to “articles” that clearly demonstrate that the PHE study is flawed, it won’t be wasted on me and I because I could point you to many more that debunk your “articles” over and over.
    I would most certainly be extremely interested in your evidence that e-cigarettes are actually increasing tobacco use in young people, you see Bill, I think you’ve been reading too much Simon Chapman, Stanton Glantz or CDC material and a little behind the times, those studies have been debunked many times. By all means you are welcome to come back in here and post them if you like. You say “I support your right to express you view however, the long term effects of e-cigarette use are unknown…….”. For once Bill, you are correct, and how many smokers must die from the incumbent deadly product before you know what the long term effects of e-cigarettes are? No mention of Tobacco Harm Reduction in your post, why? You go on to say “… and according to studies their efficacy in reducing regular cigarette use is not as effective as existing measures” Oh dear Bill, I take it you are referring to NRT’s with a success rate of 5%, Pharmacological substances like Champix with horrifying side effects and in many cases death by suicide, or maybe just the old “quit or die” cold turkey method, none of which have the proven efficacy of electronic cigarettes. Bill, perhaps you’d like to put all that in your pipe and VAPE it!
    If you were to look at the scoreboard, as I write this, 80% Strongly Disagree or Disagree and 20% Strongly Agree or Agree, it seems you aren’t winning there either!
    As for the original author, I don’t need to repeat anything Simon Chapman has already said!

  38. Margaret Phipps says:

    I’m am also an ex smoker thanks to vaping. I tried patches, inhalers, gum and the dreaded champix. I started Vaping in July 2014 and haven’t had cigarette since. So after years of frustration, disappointment, horrible side effects (champix). I am now an extremely happier and healthier vaper

  39. MarkL says:

    I smoked for 35 years. And tried literally every method to give up. Including Champex which made me go insane. Tried vaping three years ago and I haven’t touched a cigarette since. I fail to see the point in arguing wether ecigs are safe or not, when the alternative is not safe at all.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I dont know whether ecigarettes are safe or not, I soley rely on how I feel after 45 years of smoking, I stopped 3 years ago to vaping and my asthma has basically disappeared, I no longer have a smokers cough and I have an abundance of energy, I really dont know what is wrong with Australia, its legal in the UK, US, Canada and NZ just legalised it, they did not do it because its BAD for you…. why are we always the country that eventually follows everyone else, the fact is its not going away, there is no Vaper who will go back to cigarettes they will simply continue to be criminals in this country until the Gov of the day finally decides to follow every other western leader and allow us to vape in peace.

    If they really wanted to make a huge difference to health they would ban cigarettes from the year 2020 and allow vaping ( or dont you want an increase in the aged population ) ?

  41. Apathy Miller says:

    There are literally millions of people who have quit smoking cigarettes over the last 7 or so years due to vaporizers. MILLIONS! Common sense needs to prevail here, there is no combustion in vaping. There is in cigarettes. With vaping theres no tar, nor the 4000 to 6000 added chenicals that contribute to cancers and disease. Yes vaping has only been around for about 10 years, but there has been no deaths and yet readily available cigarettes still kill millions of people around the world each year. Noone is saying that vaping is 100% safe. Nothing in life is, but theyre a hell of alot better than cigarettes which are known to kill, yet our government’s arent trying to ban them. They’re trying to ban what i think is the invention/technology of the century…vaping!? And yes the posts on facebook are evidence, there are literally tens of thousands of posts everyday from people who quit smoking using vaping. Here in the states our government is concerned about vaping and is wanting to ban it due to the “master settlement agreement” of 1998, in which all of the states that sued big tobacco now get a check from them every year based upon their cigarette sales. Cigarette sales have drastically declined over the last 5 years due to vaping and our states are no longer getting the funds from big tobacco and the budgets are screwed because the states counted on this money and put it onto their budgets, but now it’s not there and theyre scared and screwed. The latest studies show that vaping has about a 65% cessation success rate, which far exceeds traditional nrt’s. I myself, my mother and father have all quit smoking in the last 2 years with vaping. I quit smoking the day i got my 1st vaping setup, my father dual used for about a month, and my mother dual used for almost a year before she completely stopped smoking. Again common sense here guys, even dual use is better than just smoking. The dual user is smoking less cigarettes, inhaling less tar and chemicals. Vaping isnt smoking and doesnt need to be regulated as tobacco, it needs to be in its own category. There needs to be safe and clean manufacturing practices and it needs to be an adult activity so 18+ or whatever your state or country considers an adult. Flavors need to be available. For people to say that vaping and flavors are a gateway to smoking is just idiotic! Who is going to want to smoke a nasty ass cigarette after theyve been vaping on keylime pie, fruity pebbles, strawberry custards, or grape bubblegum?! Yeah that bubblegum was so good i now want to go smoke and get that tobacco flavor, gtfoh! Its amazing to me that people are still referring to “studies” from 4 and 5 years ago that were flawed, and some that even had to be retracted due to incorrect information and downright lies. Get your head out of your asses, all ya have to do is use some common sense. Again theres no combustion in vaping and there is on smoking= vaping is better!

  42. Dianne Gorman says:

    “The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) faces criticism for insisting that its common standards for efficacy and safety be met for e-cigarettes before steps are made to ease access.”

    The point is, the alternative for us is tobacco cigarettes. Strangely, I can purchase cigarettes freely, despite their known failure to meet anyone’s safety standards.

    I smoked for 50 years – and for the last 45 of those years, it was all day, every day. I was destined to die a smoker. Then, almost four years ago, I tried vaping. I haven’t touched a cigarette since that day.

    Can you even begin to imagine what it’s like to try (and fail) for decades to kick a deadly habit, and then to finally find the solution … only to be told you should stick with the known killer?

  43. Anonymous says:


  44. Olrence says:

    Add me to the list of long-term smokers relieved of the habit by discovering the vape.
    40 years of hand-rolled cigs, and no particular expectation of being able to quit.
    Now, not had a cig since 22 Jan 2016. What a revelation!

    With the finding of numerous august bodies worldwide coming down firmly on the ‘benign
    and better’ side of the equation, I’m very disillusioned to find the likes of TGA citing the
    unfounded and unproven arguments like “it’ll lure young people”, or “it’s the same as smoking”
    and other such tosh. I’d expect the smoking rates would be declining steadily since vaping
    became an option, however grudgingly. If the health industry bodies would like to see smoking
    rates plummet (as they have in UK, US and much of Europe where vaping is unhassled), all they
    need to do is get out of the way. Simples.

  45. Bill Medley (the one who cannot sing!) says:

    I think the comments by Steve Parry have as much validity as the ‘fake news’ by POTUS. I am sorry Steve, but Facebook posts are not evidence and the hysteria about the government being ‘completely addicted to cigarettes’ give you post even less credibility. If this were so why does the government go to extreme lengths to help people give up smoking? This nanny state bleating is the last refuge when a particular view does not prevail. I can point you to a number of articles that clearly demonstrate that the PHE study is flawed but I feel the point would be wasted as you clearly want e-cigarettes containing nicotine to be made available over the counter. If you would like do an internet search, without using vaping sites as a credible source of evidence based studies, you might be surprised to learn that e-cigarettes are actually increasing regular tobacco use in young people. I support your right to express your view however, the long term effects of e-cigarette use are unknown and according to studies their efficacy in reducing regular cigarette use is not as effective as existing measures.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I guess we can assume that Mr Peters doesn’t think that medical research has improved over time since when it was thought smoking was safe.
    Recent positive research by prominent organizations has been whimsically disregarded by Mr Peters as well.
    Then the poll has been worded in a way to get people to vote incorrectly giving the outcome the author wants.
    Come on. Enough of this one sided rubbish. Look at the facts. Smoking rates have declined quicker now with ecigarettes than ever before. Smokers are successfully quitting smoking with vaping at greater rates than with traditional NRT. Vaping is significantly healthier than smoking.
    11th March 2015 is when I switched from smoking to vaping after a 30 year pack a day habit. I can happily advise that I have not had a single cigarette since and I feel much better for it.

    Stop hiding behind false facts

  47. Christina says:

    After a 47 year awful smoking habit. I turned to e cigarettes 3 years ago, within just one week I had cut back from a 40 a day habit to just 8, then shortly after to zero.
    This works, where everything else failed for me. I can now breathe easier and have hope I will live to see my Grandchildren grow up.

    Sadly it is all about the money.

  48. J Plesk says:

    There is nothing “cautionary” about the current approach to e-cigarettes in Australia. The current nicotine ban simply makes criminals out of thousands of law abiding Australians who are taking control of their own health, the same way millions do in the UK and USA. The glaring reality is that the people who matter the most, ie smokers and ex-smokers, are being completely ignored and ridiculed on this issue. Terms such as “zealous vaping advocates” do not belong in this discussion.

  49. Steve Thomas Vapers vs Policy says:

    This report is at best, fake news designed to scaremonger. Along with the most prestigious medical experts in the world The Royal College of Physicians, concluding that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, the Cancer Research Institute (UK) has announced “long term study” findings that resulted in 97% less carcinogens found in the bodies of vapers they conducted studies on.
    Even the anti vaping propaganderist Simon Chapman is heard regularly saying “vaping IS less harmful than cigarettes”.
    So why are we even debating this issue while tobacco cigarettes are still available Australia wide?
    Its all about the tax grab $$$.
    Do you actually think Australians are so naive to believe your anti vaping propaganda??
    Do you really want vapers who use nicotine to be considered criminals?? Because that is exactly what is happening!
    When will the nanny state directive wake the hell up and stop meddling in peoples personal lives.
    There is one group here that is completely addicted to cigarettes… the government.
    They are losing so much revenue they are prepared to let people stay addicted to cancer sticks.
    You only have to look on a facebook vaping pages to realise the health benefits that vapers experience, with thousands of members sharing their successful quit stories.
    I suppose all those peoples voices dont count because???? Why dont these peoples voices count??? It is in fact their lives!
    Any attempt to outlaw vaping will only send it to the dark trenches of the underworld. Vapers are already prepared.
    So you can legalise nicotine vaping or give it to the underworld.
    I know where i would like to see it!

  50. Ray Windlow says:

    42 years of smoking. tried patches gum sprays hypnotherapy cold turkey the lot.
    No joy
    April 1st 2015 – bought 1st serious e-cigarette device.
    Have not had a cigarette since. Taken up scuba diving again after 30 years away.
    No more morning hacking cough, I can breath through my nose instead of mouth open snoring
    Please, this is one serious device that helps ex-smokers stay away from the cancerniogenic cigarettes

  51. Donna says:

    “As for vapers, with apologies to Banjo Paterson, remember that Mulga Bill’s bicycle ended up in Dead Man’s Creek.”

    As a vaper who quit a 32 year smoking habit by switching to vaping on the 7th October 2013, I’d like to point out that I thought this was a good read and it made me realise we don’t see horses on the streets anymore and we have bridges to cross waterways. We do see plenty of bikes which get people from A to B and using them contributes to and encourages a healthier lifestyle. Just as vaping does.

    After flogging my horse for 25 of those 32 years with conventional ‘approved’ methods of quitting and failing, thankfully I found out vaping allowed it to die of natural causes and I feel wonderful. I much prefer my bike to my flogged dead horse.

  52. Anonymous says:

    How can you compare tests used up to 100 years ago to determine whether something is harmful or not today? Much like cigarettes back then, doctors knew very little about the human brain and body and many things thought to be fine turned out to be harmful.

    Fast forward 100 years later our ability to scientifically test things is far greater and more accurate. Everyone knows this yet people fall back on the ole “we thought smoking was fine to begin with”. Well we are not living in the same age as back then

    Low concentrate nicotine should be legal as it’s been proven to have a similar effect as caffiene. You literally can’t even compare a cigarette to a vaporizer. They work in completely different ways.

    I am also a vape user and know first hand how much better I feel after stopping cigarettes, problem is people would much rather a monopoly on nicotine (only government sanctioned bodies can sell nicotine legally in the form of gum, spray, tablets etc etc) than give people the ability to quit cigarettes on their own terms

  53. Tony Holden says:

    I’m one of the many people who bought their first e-cigarette and has never smoked another tobacco cigarette since. My last tobacco cigarette was smoked on the 19th of June 2013.

    Virtually every smoker in my social circle has switched to e-cigarettes, only one still dual uses. That’s about a 68% success rate. Unfortunately you won’t accept that figure, because it’s anecdotal, but that doesn’t stop it being true.

    As the equipment improves, and as flavours develop people are finding it easier to switch. It also helps if they can go into a bricks and mortar store and get advice from real experts, not public health experts, but other people who vape. They can help them set up their equipment in the most effective way, and help them find the strength of nicotine that suits them best.

    If a pharmaceutical company, or a public health expert, had developed e-cigarettes they would have failed, because we wouldn’t have flavours, we’d need a prescription to get them, and we wouldn’t be able to modify them for the best experience, yet again you would be dictating to us.

    What tobacco control and public health detest, is that we’ve done this for ourselves, and we know more than you, which is very apparent from the tone of this article and the wording of the poll.

  54. Clive Bates says:

    Professor Peters misrepresents the statements on the relative risk of smoking and vaping made by Public Health England and by the Royal College of Physicians (London). Neither relied on the ‘multi-criteria decision analysis’ he refers to (in inappropriately disparaging terms). Both RCP and PHE relied on the judgement of their own experts – all of whom are of impeccable standing – to assess what is known about the toxicology of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol – and plenty is known about both. The RCP expressed its view as follows:

    “Although it is not possible to precisely quantify the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes, the available data suggest that they are unlikely to exceed 5% of those associated with smoked tobacco products, and may well be substantially lower than this figure”. (Section 5.5 page 87 Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction)

    This is a result one should expect given the very different physics and chemistry of burning tobacco leaf at 900C and heating an inert liquid to 230C. The harmful agents in cigarette smoke are simply not present at detectable levels or present at far lower levels. Indeed, RCP has been criticised from the other direction for being unduly cautious, given there is no sign of any material risk at present and the toxic burden is far below 5% of that of smoking.

    Professor Peters would do well to reflect on the absurdity of allowing widespread availability of cigarettes, by far the most hazardous way to take nicotine, while banning a method of taking nicotine that is far safer. Since when was it the role of a government or regulator to deny Australians the option to use a much lower risk product? There is something truly perverse about trying to force people to quit completely by only allowing them access to products that will do them great harm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *