According to a recent article in the Herald Sun, several medical and health groups including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Medical Society, and Quit Victoria are supporting a complete ban on electronic cigarettes, despite whether they contain nicotine or not.
According to the article:
"Bans on e-cigarettes should be
widened to outlaw non-nicotine vaping and close a loophole that allows
the importation of prohibited devices with a prescription, doctors
groups have demanded. Warning that the long-term health impacts of electronic cigarettes
are not known, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has rejected
tobacco company claims the devices are able help people quit. The
Australian Medical Association and Quit Victoria are also calling for
tougher regulations on e-cigarettes as they become increasingly popular
in Melbourne’s bars and clubs. The sale, use and importation of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is prohibited in Victoria and all other states. However,
the sale of almost identical non-nicotine electronic cigarettes is
allowed at stores across the state, with many sold in flavours that
appeal to children."
"While nicotine vaporisers can be legally used
overseas, RACP president Prof Nicholas Talley said there was little
evidence about their safety and Australian regulators needed to maintain
bans. “We must step with caution when it comes to promoting e-cigarettes
as a safer alternative because the jury is still out as to whether there
are no side effects,” Prof Talley said. “We don’t know if
e-cigarettes help people quit traditional cigarettes, and even if they
do it is too early to rule out any possible long-term health effects
that they may or may not cause. “It took many years for the
serious health impacts of smoking tobacco to be realised so to say that
e-cigarettes are the solution is premature.”"
The Rest of the Story
It is difficult to believe that these health and medical groups want to give Big Tobacco a monopoly on the Australian market by forcing out competition from electronic cigarettes, which are much safer and less addictive than the real ones and which have helped tens of thousands of smokers to quit smoking.
Financial analysts have predicted that electronic cigarettes are going to save many lives over the next decade by shifting sales from combustible cigarettes to non-tobacco-containing and non-combustible electronic cigarettes. However, thanks to the health and medical groups in Australia, this life-saving shift in the form of nicotine consumption will not take place in that country.
The reasoning given for supporting a ban on electronic cigarettes is inane. So what if there are some side effects? The side effects of smoking are disease and death. The side effects of e-cigarettes are certainly a whole lot better than that. Even pharmaceutical products can be allowed on the market if they have side effects. The side effects have to be weighed against the benefits. Why should e-cigarettes be allowed on the market only if there are no side effects?
The rest of the story is that the Australian medical and health groups are doing a tremendous favor for Big Tobacco, and especially for the future of smoking-related disease and death in Australia.