E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes should be banned

SmokeFree Tasmania made a submission to the government in 2015. See SFT ENDs submission 2015 . You can see the submission from the Tasmanian Heart Foundation and Cancer Council here  Heart_Foundation_Cancer_Council_Submission_to_E-cig_RIS27Jan2017.

The government has released a regulatory impact statement on e-cigarettes – January 2017. SFT has made it clear that we consider that the sale of all e-cigarettes should be banned. See ABC Report and Examiner story.

Blowing vapour at other people, especially children and adolescents,  is unsafe.

Youth uptake

Children more likely to use e-cigarettes than to smoke other tobacco products – UK study in Wales. And others (Miech et al) say it is a bridge to smoking. “These results contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting vaping as a one-way bridge to cigarette smoking among youth. Vaping as a risk factor for future smoking is a strong, scientifically-based rationale for restricting youth access to e-cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes are more likely to encourage adolescents who would normally be low risk for smoking, to vape. This 2016 study in Pediatrics found “Several reasons for first trying e-cigarettes predicted continued use, including low cost, the ability to use e-cigarettes anywhere, and to quit smoking regular cigarettes. Trying e-cigarettes because of low cost also predicted more days of e-cigarette use at wave 2. Being younger or a current smoker of traditional cigarettes also predicted continued use and more frequent use over time.”

Misleading and deceptive conduct by e-cigarette companies in Australia

The ACCC  lodged a case in June 2016 in the Federal court two e-cigarette companies in Australia for misleading consumers.  The ACCC said its testing showed formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were present in both brands of e-cigarettes, among other toxins. Formaldehyde is classified by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Cancer Research as a Group 1A carcinogen, meaning there is sufficient evidence to show it is carcinogenic to humans. Acetaldehyde is classified as a Group 2B carcinogen by the IARC, which is classified as being possibly carcinogenic to humans. And also in September 2016 against another e-cigarette company.

Learn about e-cigarettes in this rather long lecture from Stant Glantz. Make a cup of tea, sit down and watch this. https://tobacco.ucsf.edu/stan-glantz-lecture-ecigs-available-online

Myths that failed to impress Australian regulators.

Prof. Simon Chapman says “..unlike antibiotics, which are heavily regulated, require a prescription, and must demonstrate both safety and efficacy to regulatory bodies, e-cigarettes and the liquids used in them are virtually unregulated.”

Health effects

A statement from the AMA in September 2015.

There has been a lot of debate about whether electronic cigarettes are the best technological solution to the smoking pandemic or the biggest looming threat to public health.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine to the user through a vapour by heating a solution of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, flavouring, and other additives. Flavours range from butter rum to caramel macchiato to strawberry lemonade.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this year that the use of e-cigarette devices among middle school and high school students tripled between 2013-2014, with around 13 per cent of students using the devices. This surpasses the number of teens who smoke conventional cigarettes in the US.

Currently, there are more than 500 e-cigarette brands and more than 7000 flavours, and they all work in different ways to deliver varying amounts of nicotine, toxins, and carcinogens. With most e-cigarette studies funded or otherwise supported, influenced by manufactures of e-cigarettes, the current evidence base on e-cigarettes is very poor.

Julia Belluz from Vox recently examined more than 60 articles, studies, and reviews, and interviewed nine researchers and health experts to try and determine whether e-cigarettes were actually safe.  You can read her detailed findings at.http://www.vox.com/2015/6/26/8832337/e-cigarette-health-fda-smoking-safety

E-cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDS) are not legal in Australia. Non nicotine devices “vapeing” are legal, and regulated in some states but not Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government has released a Discussion Paper on ENDS.

Official federal government TGA statements March 2015  and February 2017.

The Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation both have position statements on e cigarettes.

The political parties appear to have similar views.

In the USA , where nicotine based e-cigarettes are legal, as in many European countries, there is evidence that teen use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed and that e-cigarette marketing continues to mimic tobacco advertising of the bad old days, with a youth focus.

There are differing views internationally about e-cigarettes and this article by Amy Fairchild et al canvasses some of the arguments.

There is danger of nicotine capsules for children. Liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarette devices is highly concentrated, unreliably packaged, and poorly regulated. There is also the problem of injury from exploding e-cigarettes. These explosions have been observed frequently enough that the US Department of Transportation has recently banned E-cigarette devices in checked baggage aboard airplanes.

Matt Myers (USA) interview – Tobacco Free Kids.