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Health Minister Ignores E-Cigs

Health Minister Ignores E-Cigs

There has been a ban on the use of E-Cigs in Australia, and notwithstanding the continuous research by the nation’s Government to consider the potential risks and benefits involve in the use of e-cigs as smoking cessation gizmos, Greg Hunt, Australian Health Minister has said that he would not lift the ban placed on e-cigs.

According to the Minister in a communication with ABC’s Hack, the smoking of e-cigs “is not going to be happening on my watch as far as I’m concerned.” In a meeting with the head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), He wrongly added that there is no convincing proof that e-cigs can effectually be used for smoking cessation, rather “there are clear proofs that e-cigs would likely lead to an increase in the interest for cigarette smoking.

He termed all research reports as being inaccurate statements that lack credible evidence. This Health Minister’s claim would shock the public health practitioners as well as the psychiatrists and Australian physicians. As recently, the public health practitioners, psychiatrists, and Australian physicians have independently informed the local authorities telling them that smokers should be allowed the right to use any product that would offer them the nicotine effect, excluding the other dangerous effects found in cigarette smoking.

In opposition to what Minister Greg Hunt is claiming, there are lots of studies which show that aside from being considerably safer than typical cigarettes, e-cigs are also very effective tools for smoking cessation till date. It is evident that right before the results of the findings carried out by the Senate inquiry were finalised, the Health Minister has already made up his mind about e-cigs. He wrongly stated once again that “It’s big tobacco which is arguing the case for these e-cigs and they are only doing this due to their personal interests.”

However, the local authorities have been contacted by the psychiatrists and the Australian physicians and psychiatrists separately addressed local authorities pointing out that smokers should have access to vaping products that would give them the nicotine hit that they are addicted to, without the other harmful components contained in cigarette smoke.

Public Health experts commend e-cigs for smoking cessation. These professionals are not in any way connected to any tobacco industry. Instead, they put forward their arguments solely for the purpose of protecting the health interests of their patients.

Wrong information such as the one stated by Minister Greg, is causing a serious negative effect, as it is preventing a lot of smokers from changing to the safer cigarette alternatives that could possibly save their lives.

In fact, a recent survey has shown that the rate of cigarette smoking in Australia is still very high, while in the United Kingdom, where e-cigs have been fully adopted as a smoking cessation gizmos, the rate of cigarette smoking has drastically reduced. Many thanks to the introduction of e-cigs. Presently, the United Kingdom is boasting as the second nation with the lowest rate of smoking in Europe. Hence, to make Australia join this trend, Australian health practitioners are advocating for a conversion from typical cigarettes to e-cigs.

Most of the e-cig brands are possessed by tobacco companies, hence making e-cigs see like the final hope for the tobacco company to stay relevant and remain profitable in Australia should in case the tobacco control policies is further tightened.

There have been two factions about e-cigs, those who advocate that products that are safer than typical cigarettes can enhance smoking cessation and ultimately help smokers to quit smoking, while the other division holds that there is no sufficient proofs about e-cigs’ safety as long-term use could be detrimental to health. This latter faction claims that the flavours and nicotine in e-cigs can cause harm.

E-cigs are actually safer than typical cigarettes but the question is how much safer are they. The flavour, though diet-safe, could be harmful when super-heated, the smoke could ultimately affect the lungs, and the nicotine would still produce its effect on the brain.

Though many smokers are credited e-sigs with helping them to quit smoking, many scientific works of literature have suggested that e-cigs are not so effective, the Australian Medical Association has also claimed that the evidence put forward for the effectiveness of e-cigs are not substantial enough to suggest that e-cigs are successful in enhancing smoking cessation. Up till now, no e-cig product has been approved by the TGA.

E-cig products that do not contain nicotine are not likely to help smokers from quitting smoking tobacco. Hence, e-cigs should be seen as consumer tools and should be regulated as such instead of perceiving e-cigs as a therapeutic intervention for smoking to be regulated by TGA. Although the question of how dangerous e-cigs are and if they are potent enough to assist addicted smoker in quitting smoking may still remain debatable, yet if e-cigs are allowed in Australia, there might be a hint of a reduction in the rate of typical cigarette smoking.

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