The Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Cancer Council WA, and the Australian Medical Association WA, have advised the West Australian government to ignore recommendations on e-cigarettes made by three out of five members of a Parliamentary Select Committee of the Legislative Council.
The recommendations should be ignored because:
- Much of information on which the Committee made its recommendations is out of date.
- The recommendations conflict with evidence-based advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, and State and Territory Chief Health Officers, about e-cigarettes and links between their use and lung disease.
- The recommendations conflict with the overwhelming and accumulating evidence on the harms caused by using e-cigarettes to the lungs, heart and blood vessels.
- It is important to remember that it took many decades of research for the true health effects of traditional cigarettes to be determined.
- The recommendations give inadequate consideration to the epidemic use of e-cigarettes by youth in countries such the US and Canada.
- These recommendations also conflict with the guiding principles of Australia’s Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum.
- The evidence for e-cigarettes as effective for smoking cessation is weak.
WA’s leading health organisations strongly support the alternative recommendations made by two members, Hon Sally Talbot and Hon Pierre Yang, of the Committee that:
- The Government continue to take a precautionary approach to e-cigarettes, actively monitor current research to ascertain whether there is evidence to promote the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, and lift prohibition on e-cigarette devices only if such a move is indicated in that research.
- If evidence emerges that e-cigarettes could be promoted for smoking cessation, the Government take all necessary steps to ensure that the sale and availability of e-cigarette products are brought into line with the smoking-cessation products currently lawfully available for sale in Western Australia, including evaluation and registration with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.