Fourty major international and Australian academics and researchers including myself have written to the Therapeutics Goods Administration in support of an application to make low concentrations of nicotine available for use in electronic cigarettes (“vaping”).
Around 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 as a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
As the primary addictive component of tobacco smoke, nicotine is part of the problem. However, additionally, it can be portion of the solution. Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers having an alternative way to get the nicotine which these are addicted without the tobacco smoke that triggers many of the harm from smoking.
In addition to delivering nicotine, e-cigarettes replicate several main reasons of the “smoking experience”. This includes the hand-to-mouth movement as well as the sensory and social aspects of the habit that smokers frequently miss whenever they attempt to quit.
How harmful is nicotine?
The health effects of nicotine are relatively minor. It is really not a carcinogen and does not cause respiratory disease. It offers only relatively minor effects on the heart, such as short-lived rises in heartbeat and blood pressure, constriction of coronary arteries and an increase in the contracting from 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 proof long term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Research has found the medical risks from vaping are unlikely to get a lot more than 5% of the chance of smoking, and may well be substantially below this. As the vast majority of vapor cigarette supplies users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents a huge health benefit for people who move to vaping.
The effect of vaping on bystanders can also be thought to be negligible. E-cigarettes release low levels of nicotine and minimal amounts of other chemicals in to the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without significant health risks to bystanders.
Recent reports have found nicotine is far less toxic than previously thought. Many instances of intentional overdose with nicotine solutions lead to prompt vomiting and full recovery.
Similarly, accidental poisoning in children typically causes mild side effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine can be prevented with common sense, childproof packaging and warning labels, much like other potentially toxic medicines and cleaning products located in the home.
Overseas experience has shown e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking for young adults. Although adolescents are tinkering with e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The great majority of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
In fact, the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting as being an “exit gateway” and are displacing smoking. It really is obviously better for younger people not to use e-cigarettes, but vaping is far better smoking.
Smokers who are trying to decrease the health hazards from smoking are using e-cigarettes almost exclusively as being 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 employed to the significant extent for temporary, not permanent, abstinence (for instance, in places that 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 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 quit smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. Additionally it is legally found in nicotine-replacement therapies like patches, so 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 might also remove the black market and the risks connected with it.
A recent study estimated over 6 million European Union citizens have used e-cigarettes to stop smoking. In the united kingdom, 1.3 million ex-smokers are employing an e-cigarette. Similarly, it is likely thousands and thousands of Australians will quit smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.