Forty 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 designed for use within electronic cigarettes (“vaping”).
Around Australia, it is actually illegal to possess or use nicotine apart from in tobacco or nicotine-replacement products, as nicotine is classified within the Poisons Standard being a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
Since 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 having an alternative way to get the nicotine which they are addicted without the tobacco smoke that causes many 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 as well as the sensory and social facets of the habit that smokers frequently miss when they attempt to quit.
How harmful is nicotine?
The medical results of nicotine are relatively minor. It is far from a carcinogen and fails to cause respiratory disease. It has only relatively minor effects on the heart, like short-lived rises in heart rate and blood pressure levels, 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. It is also damaging to 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 evidence of long-term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Studies have found the health risks from vaping are unlikely to get a lot more than 5% of the risk of smoking, and may be substantially less than this. As nearly all flavored vapor cigarette users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents a massive health benefit for those who move to vaping.
The impact of vaping on bystanders can also be thought to be negligible. E-cigarettes release low levels of nicotine and minimal amounts of other chemicals into the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without any significant health problems to bystanders.
Recent research has found nicotine is much less toxic than previously thought. Most cases of intentional overdose with nicotine solutions lead to prompt vomiting and full recovery.
Similarly, accidental poisoning in kids typically causes mild side effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine may 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 are certainly not a gateway to smoking for young adults. Although adolescents are experimenting with e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The fantastic majority of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
Actually, evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting as being an “exit gateway” and therefore are displacing smoking. It is obviously better for younger people not to use e-cigarettes, but vaping is preferable to smoking.
Smokers who are trying to decrease the health problems from smoking are using e-cigarettes almost exclusively being a safer alternative 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 example, in places in which you can’t smoke).
Why nicotine ought to be legalised
Paradoxically, current Australian laws ban a less harmful kind of nicotine intake (e-cigarettes) while allowing the widespread sale of the very most lethal form of nicotine intake (tobacco cigarettes). Regardless of the legal restrictions and difficulties of access, e-cigarette use has become growing rapidly within australia.
Amending the Poisons Standard enables smokers who definitely are unable or unwilling to stop smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. It is also legally utilized in nicotine-replacement therapies including patches, why not e-cigarettes?
Regulation underneath the Australian Consumer Law would improve product safety and quality, restrict sales to minors and make certain child-resistant containers and appropriate advertising. It could also get rid of the black market as well as the risks associated with it.
Research conducted recently estimated over 6 million European Union citizens used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. In the UK, 1.3 million ex-smokers are utilizing an electronic cigarette. Similarly, it is likely tens of thousands of Australians will quit smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.