Young Australians will be protected by the interim decision of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ensure that e-cigarettes and vaping fluids containing nicotine are only available on prescription, AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said today.
“The TGA has recognised the significant risks that come with using e-cigarettes, and the lack of evidence for their role as a quit smoking aid,” Dr Khorshid said.
“The AMA supports all Australians who want to quit smoking. However, we do not have credible evidence to show that e-cigarettes and vaping are safe, or that they are effective as a cessation aid.
“The current advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council is that there is insufficient evidence that e-cigarettes are effective in helping smokers to quit. That is why the AMA has long advocated for a precautionary approach to e-cigarettes.
“There is also increasing evidence that e-cigarette use can increase the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
“Most concerningly, vaping could normalise and glamorise smoking, and lead to people who have not smoked before to take up the habit, especially younger Australians.
“The effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid has not been proven, and this debate in the community is being pushed by Big Tobacco, whose whole business model is based on keeping people addicted to nicotine.
“We’re certainly seeing international evidence about e-cigarettes being a pathway into smoking.
“Australia is a world leader in reducing smoking harm. We need to keep it that way.”