Legalise e-cigarettes: ARA

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says a CSIRO report released this week indicates that the time has come to legalise nicotine e-cigarettes in Australia.

The ‘E-cigarettes, smoking and health’ literature review indicates that e-cigarettes can assist some smokers in quitting traditional cigarettes, and provides evidence for a range of health improvements when conventional tobacco smokers make the switch.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says the access to less harmful alternatives is a no-brainer for Australians, and the government should get on with regulating these products in Australia.

“The findings in this report show support for the ARA’s position – e-cigarettes and other vaping products can be used as a quitting aid for smokers,” he said.

“As e-cigarettes are less harmful, the CSIRO report showed health improvements in smokers who used e-cigarettes instead of conventional cigarettes.”

The ARA says it believes that without access to less-harmful alternatives, many smokers will continue to find it difficult to quit.

“According to the CSIRO’s findings, it is clear that e-cigarettes are preferred by some smokers as a cessation method as trials have found nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective at reducing conventional smoking than nicotine-free e-cigarettes or no e-cigarettes,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Additionally, the ARA says, it believes that allowing the regulated sale of nicotine e-cigarettes will also satisfy the CSIRO’s calls for further monitoring and research.

“When restrictions force consumers to import these products, rather than purchase them legally at home, consumers are exposed to the risk of unregulated and potentially unsafe products,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The government should listen to the CSIRO and alleviate concerns about unregulated usage by allowing retailers to sell nicotine e-cigarettes legally. This will provide regulators and authorities the opportunity to conduct further studies and address any fears.”