The Australian Parliament’s Health, Aged Care and Sport Committee today presented its Report on the Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia. The inquiry considered the possible health impacts of E-cigarette use, international approaches to regulating E-cigarettes and the appropriate regulatory framework for Australia.
The Chair of the Committee, Trent Zimmerman MP, said today that like the evidence presented in submissions, the Committee was divided on the right regulatory approach to E-cigarettes.
“This has meant that I have found myself in the unusual position as Chair in authoring a dissenting report which recommends the ‘legalisation’ of E-cigarettes containing nicotine,” Mr Zimmerman said. “The majority of the Committee have adopted five recommendations, including:
• A review of the evidence relating to the health impacts of E-cigarettes, to be updated every two years. Issues covered by the review would include: whether E-cigarettes can help people to quit smoking, the health effects of E-cigarette liquid (E-liquid) and long-term use of E-cigarettes, whether E-cigarettes could lead to more young people smoking and/or using nicotine, and the relative health impacts of E-cigarettes when compared to tobacco products.
• An international meeting of health experts to discuss policy and legislative approaches to E-cigarettes. • A national approach to the regulation of non-nicotine E-cigarettes.
• The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s continued role in classifying nicotine and assessing E-cigarettes.
• Greater regulation of flavourings and colourings used in E-liquid.
“In the dissenting report presented by Tim Wilson and me, we have recommended:
• Nicotine used for E-cigarettes be made exempt from Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard.
• Legislation be passed to permit the sale and use of E-cigarettes containing nicotine with a regulatory framework for their sale and consumption based on standards found in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
• A notification and assessment process for colour and flavourings used in E-cigarettes.
Dr Andrew Laming has also provided a dissenting report recommending that vaping be legalised.
“During this inquiry, the Committee received evidence from a range of health groups, academics, E-cigarette manufacturers, and hundreds of individuals who use E-cigarettes. In addition, the Committee was fortunate to be able to draw on international experiences from New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“I thank Committee members for their contribution to the inquiry. While our conclusions have differed, the Committee has applied itself diligently to an issue which will inevitably continue to be hotly debated within the Australian community,” Mr Zimmerman said.
The Report is available here.
Media enquiries: Please contact Luke Barnes, Media Advisor from the office of Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, Chair, on 0422 726 621 or Luke.Barnes@aph.gov.au
For background information: http://www.aph.gov.au/health
Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website at: http://www.aph.gov.au/health