Tas Keeps Hard Line on Vaping

Media release – Dr Scott McKeown, Deputy Director of Public Health, 23 June 2022

Warning of the dangers of electronic cigarettes

The Tasmanian Government is committed to reducing the prevalence of smoking and the harm it causes in communities across the State.

This includes discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes, which are also known as e-cigarettes, or are commonly referred to by the activity known as vaping. E-cigarettes heat liquid containing chemicals to an aerosol that users breathe in.

The Government strongly supports today’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2022 CEO Statement on Electronic Cigarettes.

The statement highlights the latest evidence about e-cigarettes and the potential health impacts they can have on a person who uses them, including:

  • E-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking: Non-smokers, including young people who have never smoked, are more likely to take up tobacco smoking if they use e-cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes can be harmful:
    • E-liquids can contain nicotine, even when labeled nicotine free, which is highly addictive
    • Use of e-cigarettes can result in the sometimes-fatal lung condition known as E-cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)
    • Use of e-cigarettes can result in serious burns and injuries, and can result in seizures in some users.
  • There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of e-cigarettes as an effective cessation aid. There are a number of other proven safe and effective options to help people quit smoking, such as the Quitline 13 7848.

The use of e-cigarettes has increased in Australia since 2016, and this trend has been reported across most age groups, especially among youth and young adults. Calls to the Australian Poisons Information Center related to e-cigarettes has also increased over the past five years, with most poisonings occurring in toddlers and adults.

The statement notes that a precautionary approach to e-cigarettes is needed. The Tasmanian Government discourages the use of e-cigarettes in the community and their potential to normalize the idea of ​​smoking. We do not want young people growing up in Tasmania seeing people using e-cigarettes.

This stance on the use of e-cigarettes strongly aligns with the soon to be released Tasmanian Tobacco Action Plan 2022-2026, which aims to further reduce smoking rates across Tasmania.

Our goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians by reducing the number of people smoking. We will continue to take strong action to ensure Tasmanians do not take up smoking and that support is provided for people to quit and live healthy lives.

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