E-cigarettes ‘will save lives’

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A top Australian doctor and commentator on the e-cigarette-harm reduction issue has weighed in with an unequivocal plea for wider availability of vaping for people who want to quit smoking.

In a piece in the influential newspaper The Age, entitled E-cigarettes will save lives and should not be illegal in Australia, Colin Mendelsohn argues powerfully that e-cigarettes

  • should be regulated, but in a proportionate way that reflects their real level of risk
  • should be regulated as consumer products, not as tobacco or medicines

He adds that regulation should include appropriate controls that prevent sale or promotion of e-cigs to youth, normal consumer-safety standards for manufacture and ingredients of materials and accurate labelling.

He concludes: “The right balance of regulations could substantially improve public health and save hundreds of thousands of Australian lives. We cannot afford to get it wrong.”

Colin also calls for nicotine to be de-coupled from tobacco.

Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a medical practitioner and Tobacco Treatment Specialist at The Sydney Clinic in Bronte, NSW.

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