Forty top international and Australian academics and researchers including myself have written to the Therapeutics Goods Administration in support of an application to make lower concentrations of nicotine available for use within e cigarettes (“vaping”).
Within Australia, it really is illegal to possess or use nicotine besides in tobacco or nicotine-replacement products, as nicotine is classified in the Poisons Standard as a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
Since the primary addictive element of tobacco smoke, nicotine is part of the problem. However, additionally, it can be part of the solution. Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers with the alternative way to get the nicotine to which these are addicted minus the tobacco smoke that causes almost all 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 effects of nicotine are relatively minor. It is not a carcinogen and will not cause respiratory disease. It provides only relatively minor effects on the heart, like short-lived rises in heartbeat and blood pressure, constriction of coronary arteries and a rise 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 is 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 evidence of long term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Reports have found the health risks from vaping are unlikely to get a lot more than 5% of the risk of smoking, and may well be substantially lower than this. As the vast majority of vapor cigarette users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents a massive health benefit for individuals who switch to vaping.
The result of vaping on bystanders is also regarded as negligible. E-cigarettes release lower levels of nicotine and minimal amounts of other chemicals in to the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without any significant health hazards to bystanders.
Recent reports have found nicotine is far 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 adverse effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine can be prevented with common sense, childproof packaging and warning labels, the same as other potentially toxic medicines and cleaning products found in the home.
Overseas experience has shown e-cigarettes usually are not a gateway to smoking for younger people. Although adolescents are tinkering with e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The great most of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
Actually, the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting as being an “exit gateway” and therefore are displacing smoking. It is obviously better for young adults to not use e-cigarettes, but vaping is better than smoking.
Smokers who are attempting to decrease the health risks from smoking are employing e-cigarettes almost exclusively as being a safer substitute for combustible tobacco. After 10 years of overseas’ experience, there is certainly xocplg evidence e-cigarettes are renormalising smoking, are undermining tobacco control or are being used to the significant extent for temporary, not permanent, abstinence (for example, 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 (tobacco cigarettes). Regardless of the legal restrictions and difficulties of access, e-cigarette use has been growing rapidly within australia.
Amending the Poisons Standard would allow smokers that are unable or unwilling to stop smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. It is additionally legally utilized in nicotine-replacement therapies including patches, so just why not e-cigarettes?
Regulation beneath the Australian Consumer Law would improve product safety and quality, restrict sales to minors and make sure child-resistant containers and appropriate advertising. It would also eliminate the black market and also the risks related to it.
Research recently estimated over 6 million European Union citizens have tried e-cigarettes to give up smoking. In the united kingdom, 1.3 million ex-smokers are utilizing an e-cigarette. Similarly, it is likely thousands and thousands of Australians will stop smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.