A group of international and Australian experts in academia and research are appealing to the Australian government to legalise liquid nicotine for vaping.
World-renowned scientific and medical minds have written to the country’s Therapeutics Goods Administration backing an application to allow for low concentrations of nicotine to be legally used in e-cigarettes. A number of the lobbyists are UK based, with several researchers campaigning from the US too.
It is currently illegal to use or possess nicotine other than in traditional cigarettes or nicotine-replacement aids, as it’s classed as a “dangerous poison” in the country’s Poisons Standard.
Experts say while nicotine is the addictive substance that has hooked generations on tobacco products, it may also be part of the solution in lowering the smoking rate Down Under.
The Australian vape debate has been unfolding before the world over the last couple of months. Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a tobacco treatment specialist and associate professor at the University of New South Wales. He has been leading the charge in campaigning for e-cigarettes containing nicotine to be legalised.
In an article for TheConversation.com, the associate professor says lifting the ban on vaping would be immensely beneficial to public health and in curbing the level of smoking in Australia.
“Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers with an alternative way of getting the nicotine to which they are addicted without the tobacco smoke that causes almost all of the harm from smoking.”
Australia’s stance on e-liquids containing nicotine has surprised many overseas and has made it into mainstream news here in the UK, where the vape industry has been booming in recent years.
Despite increasing legal restrictions and barriers to access, the use of e-cigarettes in the nation has been growing steadily.
Dr Mendelsohn has upped his campaign efforts in recent weeks following an outright ban on vaping in public places in New South Wales, appearing on prime time news programmes, radio shows and writing prominent pro-vaping articles. Whether the efforts of these 40 pro-vaping international minds will come to fruition remains to be seen. However, the debate is by no means slowing down.