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Extreme caution needed on electronic cigarettes


Professor Ian Olver AM -
4 November 2014


Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine cannot be lawfully sold in Australia. These devices have never been legal here because of the restrictions that apply under poison control regulations.

Now that electronic cigarettes are becoming more prevalent around the world, there is growing interest in their sale in Australia. Like most issues that involve public policy, science and commercial interests, the facts become confused in the debate.

Here are some factual reasons why Cancer Council urges caution on electronic cigarettes and would like to see a tightening of the loopholes around their availability.

Australian kids and cigarettes

The changed culture around the acceptability of cigarette use in Australian kids is one of our nation’s great public health success stories. Thirty years ago, one in five Australian kids aged 12 to 15 would light up in a typical week. Now it’s around one in 25 and dropping.

The behaviour of Australian teenagers reflects that of adults. Kids smoked in large numbers because it was aspirational and precocious. Tobacco advertising also sought to glamorise cigarette use in a way that appealed to young people. One look at the online marketing of electronic cigarettes and you can see the same old tactics for luring and addicting young people, repackaged for the digital age. But if electronic cigarettes do not become commonplace, history says their appeal to young Australians will be limited.

Electronic cigarettes and quitting

Electronic cigarettes are promoted as a less-harmful alternative to tobacco smoking and in some cases as a way for smokers to quit. But there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit. There are also concerns that electronic cigarettes could keep smokers addicted to tobacco by providing a nicotine hit in smoke-free places.

Therapeutically approved nicotine replacement products are already available as an aid to quitting – and these are not promoted in a way that glamorises their use and poses a risk to impressionable young people.

Moreover, while electronic cigarettes are almost certainly less harmful than smoking, they are not harmless. As well as the risk that they may re-normalise cigarette use in young people, there are concerns that electronic cigarette vapours and other unknown contents could cause harms in users and in nonusers exposed to second-hand emissions.

The ethics of promoting electronic cigarettes

There is a myth that electronic cigarettes are a threat to the tobacco industry, so they must be a good thing. The fact is, major tobacco companies are investing heavily in the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes. That alone should indicate that there are parallel and overlapping markets for combustible and electronic cigarettes.

It is also a serious concern that non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are available in Australia, can be lawfully sold to children, and are subject to no controls. This is despite the risks they pose in re-normalising cigarette use in young people – to whom they are clearly targeted, with fruit and energy drink flavours, as well as tobacco flavours.

So when weighing up the risks and potential benefits of electronic cigarettes, we must exercise extreme caution.

Evidence of the harms of combustible cigarettes was not available when they were aggressively marketed from the early 20th century. By the middle of this century, around one billion people will have died prematurely because they smoked – most of them having been addicted to nicotine when they were young.

The lesson is simple: once a harmful, addictive product is in wide circulation it is very difficult to reign in the damage, especially when it is targeted at young people.

We have too much at stake to risk a return to the bad old days when the majority of Australians regularly sucked on a cigarette and kids thought it was cool to emulate them.

 



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Comments (73)

  1. Andrew Rouen:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 05:31 PM

    I see yet again the current body of evidence (medical research studies) have been ignored. Why? There is an ever increasing amount of evidence available that points towards ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) being both a safe and effective alternative to inhaling the smoke from burning tobacco. I'm sure your team would have no problem finding the studies should they decide to look.

    As for children gaining access to these products THAT is a matter of parental responsibility, nothing more. I agree that businesses selling to people under the legal smoking age is reprehensible and they SHOULD be prosecuted.

    There is no evidence of ENDS usage "re-normalising" smoking, only a fear. In relation to the NRT products you recommend, their success rate can only be described as abysmal and one has been directly linked to close to 600 suicides, well at least they're not smoking right?

    In the end, this yet another case of ideology over science. The Cancer Council is far too invested in their dogma to look at other possibilities. As I previously stated, there is a growing and credible body of evidence at contradicts almost every key point of this statement.

  2. Jackie:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 07:04 PM

    But America has done air quallity tests on the vapour that comes from ecig with an without nicotine in them. Why dose Australia have to be so closed minded.

  3. nicole figueroa:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 08:31 PM

    I think these are fantastic,i use one and it has helped me to give up smoking and smoked for 20+ years until i used one

  4. Harold Beethum:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Hi
    I understand your concerns re children and the possible uptake. I however don't understand yours and other cancer organisations discouraging and dismissing them as you do. After all, they're a form of smoking replacement, without the carcinogenics. Isn't that what your goal is ? Reducing Cancer ?
    p.s. As a 40 year smoker, these are the only technique I've found successful in quitting smoking.
    I urge you to look at the benefits as this should in fact be promoted by you guys.
    thankyou

  5. Mathew:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    If the cancer council cannot find a link between personal vapourizers and cancer then the devices fall into the harm minimisation category and become an effective tool in reducing smoking related cancer deaths. Wouldnt it then be against the cancer council's best interests to ban them as a harm minimisation device?

  6. tug:
    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    If your main concern is the threat to 'denormalisation' well you really have lost the plot.

    Vaping doesn't cause cancer and we all know exactly what is in them and there's already a lot of research out there on e-cigs.

    Please stop conflating vaping with smoking and implying that an addiction to nicotine is as dangerous as smoking burning leaves after all nobody is jumping up and down about addiction to caffeine and nobody is raiding coffee shops in WA to confiscate there coffee machines.

    If you limit the access to these harm reduction devices you are actually causing more cancer via the 'Quit or Die' dogma. Is that what you want ?

    A percentage of young people are always going to take up smoking (unless you ban it) and I'd prefer they take up vaping instead. There's a lot more in actual cigarettes that's addictive than the nicotine. After all research has shown that NRT (a failed technology) is not addictive.

    Please stop promoting Champix as its responsible for 500+ completed suicides, don't see the 'tightening of the loopholes' for that little earner.

    For anybody not satisfied by fearmongering articles like this that frequently mention children and youth so as to raise your fear please see *some* of the research already available:

    http://www.churnmag.com/features/14-electronic-cigarette-studies-that-shame-the-critics/

    Any smokers put off by this article, don't be. I smoked for 25 years and dropped the habit immediately after switching to vaping and you can too and I never even wanted to give up.

  7. Martin:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Tobacco companies are investing in 1st generation 'cig-a-like' e-cigarettes. These devices don't work well. 2nd and 3rd generation devices do work well but look nothing like a cigarette and tobacco companies have no interest in them.

    Ask far as re-normalisation of smoking, please read
    Nicotine and Health - American Council on Science and Health
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/195347257/Nicotine-and-Health

  8. jay nunga:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    There is a vast amount of research and studies showing that personal vapourisers are a very effective harm minimization device. The ingredients of the liquid used in personal vapourisers are known, and are generally regarded as safe. The liquid used may contain the following, but not all liquid contains all these ingredients:

    Propylene Glycol, an ingredient commonly used in medicines, foods, cosmetics, fog machines, asthma sprays, and in NRT inhalers and sprays, among other uses.

    Vegetable Glycerine, commonly used in foods, beverages, and many other common household products such as moisterisers, lip balms, toothpaste etc etc.

    Food grade flavourings, commonly used in foods and beverages.

    Pharmaceutical grade nicotine liquid, used in all forms of NRT.

    Some liquid may also contain purified water.

    As many personal vapouriser users, (particularly in Australia because of the restrictions on nicotine), make their own liquid, so we know, (yes I am a vaper), exactly what is in the liquid we vape.

    There have been numerous studies that show that there is no danger at all to either the vaper or anyone around the vaper, there is no smoke, so there is no second hand or side stream smoke to worry about.

    Vaping, (what using a personal vapouriser is commonly known as), is a gateway out of smoking, not a gateway into tobacco smoking. A recent study from the uk has shown this to be the case.

    I was a 20-25 a day smoker, I tried every one of the approved methods of NRT, (despite their known failure rate of more than 95%), including patches, sprays, gums, and most worrying of all Champix, a drug that has caused many deaths and severe mental health issues for many people, this is well documented but this drug is still pushed to people who want to quit smoking.

    I learned about personal vapourisers, (some call them e-cigarettes although they contain no cancer causing tobacco, and are not lit, or burnt, and produce no smoke), and decided to have one last go at quitting smoking.

    The day my vapouriser arrived, and I started vaping, was the same day I gave up smoking, and have been a non-smoker for more than eight months now.

    I was able to give up the tobacco smokes, because the vaping satisfied the hand to mouth habit, that was so important to me, as I was someone who smoked when I was stressed, and this action was something I found relieved the stress. It also took away the cravings for nicotine, and I have gradually been able, at my own pace, to lower my nicotine levels to levels lower than those in other forms of NRT, and I will eventually lower the level down to 0.

    I enjoy the flavours, and I enjoy the health benefits of no longer smoking tobacco.

    Vaping doesn't renormalise smoking, it normalises quitting tobacco.

    All legitimate Australian sellers of PVs have age restrictions on the sale of these devices, as do overseas sellers. These devices are marketed to adults, not children. As a parent I would much rather my child experiment with a safe alternative than tobacco cigarettes, and only the most naive of parents would think that teenagers are not going to experiment with various products that adults use.

    For those interested in seeing the research on personal vapourisers, that shows them to be orders of magnitude safer than tobacco, and a product that could end tobacco smoking and save the lives of countless smokers around the world, google the name Konstantinos Farsalinos, a well respected cardiologist, and have a look at the work he has already undertaken, as well as the current studies. Also have a look at the UK ASH organisation.

    The majority of personal vapourisers are manufactured and sold by small to medium businesses, that have no financial or other, relationship with tobacco companies at all. Some of the tobacco companies have started buying up the manufacturers of cigalikes, (those vapourisers that look like tobacco cigarettes), because they are seeing falls in their profits from people switching to the safer alternative. The cigalikes are considered 1st generation vapourisers, and are not favoured by most vapers, as they are generally lower in quality and performance, compared to 2nd and 3rd generation vapourisers, which look nothing like cigarettes. No tobacco company manufactures or sells any 2nd or 3rd generation devices.

    I am deeply saddened that the Cancer Council has chosen to try and ban the sale of this life saving, safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes, while the sale of tobacco remains legal and widely available throughout the country.

  9. sharon gaknar:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    All of the assumptions in this article are false. once a smoker gets off smokes and onto vaping, there is no way you ever want to go back. cigarettes start to taste and smell disgusting. I was a smoker for 30 years, smoked 45 smokes a day and over a few months I used a personal vaporizer to move away from smoking. I no longer smoke at all and feel so much better. yes I am still addicted to nicotine but how is that harmful? NRT contains nicotine but you arent concerned with that and if NRT didnt have such abysmal success rates smokers would choose that option, but it is in fact NRT that keeps smokers addicted because it doesnt satisfy the addiction and behaviour so most smokers get tired of it and go back to smoking. If you want to see how the nicorette inhaler is marketed look at this - it is just like an old cigarette ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJC7ZeNXG0M

  10. Dr Attila Danko:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 01:22 AM

    I would like to amend the title to say; "Caution needed on electronic cigarettes".

    Extremism, even "extreme caution" in any form is unlikely to be helpful for health. Extremism in prohibition in the US brought us Al Capone, gang wars and extreme profits for bootleggers.

    Agreed, Australia has made great strides in reducing the menace of smoking. It is concerning that non-nicotine e-cigarettes are presently able to be bought freely by children.

    On the other hand, there is great promise in e-cigarettes as a method of harm reduction. It is scientifically untenable to believe that the vapour of the few well studied ingredients in e-cigarettes could in any way even approach a fraction of the harms of combusted tobacco and it's literally thousands of known carcinogens. A few of my most recalcitrant patients have managed to give up cigarettes using e-cigs when nothing else had worked. It seems they work because they do not deny the real pleasure some people find from smoking.

    The innovations of the free market creating more and more effective and pleasurable e-cig models and liquids means the early equivocal e-cig research using 1st generation devices does not necessarily reflect the real world, where some interesting data from the UK suggests that the increasing use of e-cigs there is starting to have real effects on smoking cessation on a population level. Over there many anti smoking groups and the Royal College of Physicians have cautiously welcomed e-cigarettes and certainly do not want them banned.

    Are we to be the out of date reactionary prohibitionists?

    If you can give a smoker something more enjoyable than cigarettes and far less harmful at the same time, is this not a revolution that could make smoking history within a much shorter time frame than our present ponderous incremental efforts?

    In any case, it would seem premature to ban these highly promising devices especially when in every other field of drug control, harm reduction strategies are always superior to knee-jerk prohibition. Allowing nicotine containing e-cigs to be sold under the same rules as cigarettes would seem to be a sensible compromise. It would be perverse to allow a truly harmful product to be sold freely, while criminalising those who choose to reduce their harm in their choice of recreational nicotine product.

    Would you really want to force e-cig users back to cigarettes by hasty and ill thought out heavy handed regulation?

  11. Deb Downes:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 01:47 AM

    What does one say when a distinguished Professor writes something which contains just about every unsubstantiated piece of claptrap that has been regurgitated by so many other undistinguished hacks, so disappointing. I could provide you with many links to peer reviewed scholarly journals that would contradict what has been written. However, every time someone like me (a vaper) who is directly affected by the unsubstantiated information that you continue to perpetuate, attempts to engage in sharing information, we are ignored. WHY? I really think it is time you and your professional colleagues answered this question.

    Let me tackle one small piece here:
    "There are also concerns that electronic cigarettes could keep smokers addicted to tobacco by providing a nicotine hit in smoke-free places."

    That is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever read. Users of personal vapourisers do not SMOKE, they are addicted to nicotine, not tobacco. The reason they use a PV is because they don't WANT to smoke, not because they want to be some sly little so and so, getting away with their addiction in smoke free areas. It's shameful that you choose to propagate that perception. It's disgraceful that you choose to describe the stakeholders in this debate, in such a manner.

    It is extremely disappointing that professional people are so stuck in their ideology, that you can't see the wood for the trees, let alone get your terminology sorted out.

    Be honest and answer a question. Have you ever met any individuals who use PVs? Have you ever spoken to them about how they feel, how their health is, what their GPs think, their struggle to give up tobacco, their joy at finding an alternative, their fears that you are going to legislate them back to tobacco or, another round of quit attempt, pain, smoking, quit attempt, pain, etc., - what a merry go round! I suggest that perhaps it might be worth your while to climb down from your ivory tower and start talking to people and having a look at the relevant research. There are many people who would like the opportunity to participate in this debate, so that we can achieve regulation that we're all happy with. Instead, we get organisations like this, and various 'so called experts', pontificating about how we should lead our lives, without bothering to actually communicate or consult with us. Regards Deb


  12. Max:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 09:24 AM

    Your stance and fear of portable vapourizers are incorrect and unfounded. Please explain how 3 food grade ingredients vs 4000 chemicals is justification enough to act against portable vapourizers? Shame on you for not making educated decisions. I wonder who is funding you guys. Big Pharma? Sounds about right considering you support all their NRT's, might I add there quickmist has more ingredients then e-liquid. SHAME SHAME SHAME! Funny thing is this will all get moderated. I challenge you to allow this comment to go on the website.

  13. Harold Beethum:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    First off, congratulations on posting alternative views.
    For too long all other 'cancer' councils have automatically hit the delete button on their social media type sites.
    thankyou.

  14. Mushymush:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I've been a 20 a day smoker since 1982. Developed asthma (partly hereditary) over the years and have been using ventolin and seretide for many years to control it. I was introduced to vaping (electronic cigarettes) 8 months ago and have been able to retire my inhalers shortly afterwards. The added benefit was that I have been able to lose significant amount weight. With the variety of second and third generation devices it provides a great hobby for mature people. I sleep better, I don't cough anymore, I feel better, I smell better and according to my wife I behave better since I turned to this alternative.

  15. Pete:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    In reply to the professor, exactly what personal work has been done as it seems the article is none the wiser of any person hitting up google and is full of incorrect statements.

    I will cover a few, "These devices have never been legal here because of the restrictions that apply under poison control regulations." Is the professor aware that in Australia, we use nicotine free juice ? which would not apply to those restrictions.

    "Therapeutically approved nicotine replacement products are already available as an aid to quitting – and these are not promoted in a way that glamorises their use and poses a risk to impressionable young people." i am guessing the professor did not research all NRT promotions ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJC7ZeNXG0M

    "It is also a serious concern that non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are available in Australia, can be lawfully sold to children, and are subject to no controls" the professor in his opening statement stated all sales have never been legal, he now now indicates they can be lawfully sold? this seems a little odd and not a well thought out response, how ever most if not all vendors comply to a voluntary over 18 years of age code and will not and do not sell or encourage sales to minors.

  16. Margaret Boyd:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Characteristics, side effects and benefits of electronic cigarette use: a worldwide survey of more than 19,000 users has been submitted for publication Posted by Dr Farsalinos ( feb 2014) 81% reported that they had completely substituted smoking with e-cigarette use,
    http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/152-world-survey

  17. Paul:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I would like to take issue with a couple of the more outrageous claims in this article. Firstly, some background.....I was a smoker for 40 years, between 2-3 50g packs of rollies a week. I tried numerous methods to quit, numerous times including the NRT methods you espouse as the only way to go......cold turkey, hypnotherapy, patches, mists and sprays. The only thing I didn't try was Champix since it has such a dismal reputation concerning mental health and suicide.

    "There are also concerns that electronic cigarettes could keep smokers addicted to tobacco" This is purely disingenuous. What e-cigarettes actually do allow ex-smokers to get their hit of nicotine in a method that is familiar and comfortable for them. They are not addicted to tobacco, they are addicted to nicotine.....the ingredient in the therapies you approve of. They are called nicotine replacement therapies for a reason, they provide an alternative method of satisfying nicotine cravings without burning tobacco to do so.....just like e-cigarettes.

    "There is a myth that electronic cigarettes are a threat to the tobacco industry, so they must be a good thing. The fact is, major tobacco companies are investing heavily in the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes." Big tobacco is buying up cigalike companies....these are devices that look like real cigarettes.....except they next to useless. They are hoping that organisations like you clear the field for them so they can mount a challenge using their money. The majority of e-cig users either skip them completely or quickly move from them to 2nd and 3rd generation devices that actually look more like a sex aid than a cigarette. Most e-cig users would be happy enough for 1st generation cigalikes to be banned......exit big tobacco.

    "Therapeutically approved nicotine replacement products are already available as an aid to quitting – and these are not promoted in a way that glamorises their use and poses a risk to impressionable young people." With a success rate of around 5% these could be realistically classed as an abject failure. Overseas studies of e-cigs containing nicotine point towards successful quit rates closer to 80%. Studies so far conducted in Australia using nicotine-free e-cigs are immaterial.....although I do personally know people who have quit smoking using nicotine free e-cigs.

    I consider your opposition to e-cigarettes to be well outside the charter of an organisation that claims to be an anti-cancer organisation. You will not receive any donations from me.....my money will be better spent fighting the WACC's attempts to have e-cigs banned in WA.

  18. Olfella:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 01:00 PM

    I would like every one that reads this to please check the ingredients on the Quick Mist label ( available in chemists and some supermarkets )these are designed to get people off cigarettes. A P.V. (personal vapouriser) contains only 3 of the many items found in these and some of the "extra" ingredients will shock you. Remember these are legal , just the same as tobacco is legal.How can something that HAS been proved so effective at helping people give up smoking be causing so much angst in the health professions ?
    Studies lately have found that nicotine is not the nasty that it was previously thought to be.Please do some research.
    Remember that nicotine can be found in many vegetables that you eat.
    I know of NO vendor in Australia or overseas that will supply P.Vs ,juice or nicotine to juniors.
    Why do organisations insist on spreading claptrap ?
    In this day and age we are able to do a lot of research from our homes.
    We know the truth and are getting sick of all the bulldust.

  19. Tony Minehan:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 01:48 PM

    Well, I don't know what to say about this really. I guess all I can add to what has already been written is my personal experience.

    After 35+ years of smoking 30ish cigarettes a day, I now consider myself a non-smoker due to starting to use a personal vapouriser. Previously I had tried patches, gum, lozenges and Champix. Luckily, I realised quickly that taking Champix was causing me some fairly serious issues and discontinued it.

    I enjoyed smoking, I now enjoy vaping. One addiction for another I suppose, but one that I see as infintely less harmful than smoking cigarettes

  20. Charmaine:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 02:22 PM

    I am so disappointed in this article, so very disappointed, and I do not know why I am even bothering to respond because I doubt that comments are even read. I will start by saying that I successfully quit smoking after 20+ years via the use of electronic cigarettes, after trying all the useless peddled items, eg: patches, gum, the imitation plastic tube looking cig thing, cold turkey, hypnotism and the suicidal Champix (which my husband and Children had to endure, it was pure evil to my body and my mind and you wish for people to use this rather than an electronic cigarette???).

    Are you aware that the currently advertised "quit smoking" "mist" delivery systems contain almost 3x the ingredients of a personal vaporizer? including hydrochloric acid. Im sure you think that you have peoples best interest at heart, but you are very wrong regarding the success of ecigs.

    For example, my Mother had been a smoker for at least 45 years, and even with her coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes etc etc and many warnings from her Doctor, she could not quit, she tried everything available on the market and guess what, she couldnt quit, then I bought her an ecig...

    My Mother has successfully quit smoking, she hasn't touched a cigarette for nearly a year. Her Doctor is so happy for her and has even suggested ecigs to her other patients needing to quit cigarettes, and my Mother is only one out of a large percentage of the others that have successfully quit smoking.

    My question is this: why haven't you properly researched all of this information yourself? I certainly did before I started Vaping and there has been lots of research done regarding the electronic cigarette, the delivery tools, the ingredients and the vapor itself.

    Why haven't you actually spoken to Vapers? Im more than sure you would see a totally different picture if you did. One of the amazing things about us Vapers is this: while smoking we knew that all of those 4000+ chemicals were killing us and we wanted to quit so badly, we couldn't, and not for the lack of trying. We hoped for a method that would work but they never came, we wasted our hard earned money on all the useless "quit smoking" items but still, smoking, till the ecig arrived and WOW it works! We are finally able to quit, to live happy healthier lives without being cast aside like diseased rats. We researched everything we could before we tried this new method as like you, we want to be safe, healthy and on the right track, did I mention it works. But no, that is not good enough, because we found our OWN way to quit, that is made up of only 3-4 ingredients (which are found in all aspects of life from food and nature) and WE look after ourselves! We are not asking for handouts to buy our Vaping items, WE are doing it all by ourselves, and the powers that be CANNOT stand it!!! So out come the naysayers and "what about the children". Heres something for you, ban alcohol too! Ban cleaning products, air conditioning gas, because they are deadly to children, but are available everywhere. And(sic) if you cared so much for our children, why hasn't the internet been cancelled??? because believe me kids can find anything they like if they so wish to if their parents/guardians are not watching. A serious response to children being able to get them, it would require an adult to purchase them for them, just like cigarettes.

    As for the vaping leading to smoking, thats ludicrous! Ask a Vaper if they have since tried a cigarette since quitting, I am willing to guess that most have not, but if they have they would say it made them sick!

    I find this whole article absurd to say the least, if you are going to publish such an article, shouldn't you at the very least have hard evidence to back your argument up?

    You know the saddest thing about all of this, your opinion seems to matter to all the right people, where as people such as ourselves WHO want to be healthy, WHO want to live a FREE country, but sadly it seems that we are shot down by people such as yourself. I implore you, you are a Professor, I assume you did a lot of work to earn your title, please, get out there, do some real life research on this, the lives you help save will be grateful.
    Thank you and good day.
    Charmaine
    Proud Vaper!

  21. Ron:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 03:54 PM

    I ave to say that I am very disappointed with the badly worded and also badly reseached above. I am happy to back up the many responses already listed above about being pro vaping, not too much else I could except I am a 35+ year smoker who had failed dsmally in many tries to quit till I picked up a gn' 2 personal vapourizer and am now tobacco free for nearly 6 weeks. And no ..... way will I ever go back to smoking. All with no help from your useless 'approved' nrt's

  22. Maggie:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 04:04 PM

    I'd given up giving up after smoking for 50 yrs and have used all the Nicotine Replacement Therapies, including CHAMPIX which resulted in me being hospitalised after a psychotic episode caused by this 'government approved' quit smoking drug
    Vaping has kept me smoke free for 6 months now, I'm still amazed at how easy it is to quit with this method and I'm healthier as a result

  23. MG:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 04:29 PM

    The changed culture around the acceptability of cigarette use in Australian kids is one of our nation’s great public health success stories. Thirty years ago, one in five Australian kids aged 12 to 15 would light up in a typical week. Now it’s around one in 25 and dropping.

    This is a great statistic, but completely irrelevant to vaping.

    The behaviour of Australian teenagers reflects that of adults. Kids smoked in large numbers because it was aspirational and precocious. Tobacco advertising also sought to glamorise cigarette use in a way that appealed to young people. One look at the online marketing of electronic cigarettes and you can see the same old tactics for luring and addicting young people, repackaged for the digital age. But if electronic cigarettes do not become commonplace, history says their appeal to young Australians will be limited.

    And for the those reasons advertising codes around tobacco were changed and rightly so. The vaping industry can and should be subject to the same code - and I would support any calls to do so, but one should not conflate inappropriate marketing with the underlying product - this is just wishful juxtaposition.

    But there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit.

    This is simply false - just because you are not aware of it (which is surprising) does not mean it doesn't exist.

    There are also concerns that electronic cigarettes could keep smokers addicted to tobacco by providing a nicotine hit in smoke-free places.

    Notwithstanding that a 'concern', whether genuine or manufactured for effect, is simply a reason to start doing some research to obtain better understanding - not ban or prevent, is not the greater concern that tobacco smokers will remain addicted to smoking tobacco if vaping is removed as an option?

    There are many people currently addicted to using nicotine, who cannot or do not wish to live without it - is it unconscionable to deny them the use of non lethal delivery methods.

    Therapeutically approved nicotine replacement products are already available as an aid to quitting – and these are not promoted in a way that glamorises their use and poses a risk to impressionable young people.

    Agreed, but as we all know these products have a success rate of under 5% so calling them an 'aid' to quitting is highly misleading; if your car only worked 5% of the time, would you still call it a car?

    Moreover, while electronic cigarettes are almost certainly less harmful than smoking, they are not harmless.

    A more honest statement is that they are almost certainly orders of magnitude less harmful than smoking - I have spoken with surgeons and oncologists who advise that vaping is probably about as dangerous as drinking coffee and safer than drinking alcohol.

    As well as the risk that they may re-normalise cigarette use in young people, there are concerns that electronic cigarette vapours and other unknown contents could cause harms in users and in nonusers exposed to second-hand emissions.

    It's our old friend concern - even if we accept the doctrine of normalisation, this is a moot point because the vast majority of vapers are former smokers - so a kid is going to see no more or less people visibly exhaling something, what possible difference could it make whether it is smoke or vapour?

    If vaping is about as dangerous as drinking coffee, how can there be any credible 'concern' about second hand vapour? If the Cancer Council really is concerned, it should fund independent scientific research and have it published after peer review.

    There is a myth that electronic cigarettes are a threat to the tobacco industry, so they must be a good thing. The fact is, major tobacco companies are investing heavily in the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes. That alone should indicate that there are parallel and overlapping markets for combustible and electronic cigarettes.

    Pure supposition - it is much more likely that BT is investing in vaping because nicotine users prefer vapour over harmful combustion products and BT have noticed sales falling and see a future where almost no-one wants to use their dangerous and (lets hope one day) archaic method of delivery. If people dual use, so what? Surely every cigarette not smoked is a good thing?

    It is also a serious concern that non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are available in Australia, can be lawfully sold to children, and are subject to no controls. This is despite the risks they pose in re-normalising cigarette use in young people – to whom they are clearly targeted, with fruit and energy drink flavours, as well as tobacco flavours.

    Ban the sale to minors - just like with alcohol and tobacco. Call for those bans and I am confident you will get support from every quarter.

    So when weighing up the risks and potential benefits of electronic cigarettes, we must exercise extreme caution.

    I would say we must objectively examine the evidence gleaned from our research and then let logic and reason dictate to what extent if any we exercise caution...

    Evidence of the harms of combustible cigarettes was not available when they were aggressively marketed from the early 20th century. By the middle of this century, around one billion people will have died prematurely because they smoked – most of them having been addicted to nicotine when they were young.

    The lesson is simple: once a harmful, addictive product is in wide circulation it is very difficult to reign in the damage, especially when it is targeted at young people.

    We have too much at stake to risk a return to the bad old days when the majority of Australians regularly sucked on a cigarette and kids thought it was cool to emulate them.


    There is simply no credible evidence showing that vaping has or will increase smoking rates (quite the opposite in fact) - so this is merely a straw man.

    I think it is sad that emotive fallacies have been employed to try and prevent such a great good occurring in this country - I hope that people can see through it all and realise that an Australia without tobacco is a good goal and that vaping is perhaps the best tool we have yet found to achieve that goal.

  24. Mary Gordon:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 04:32 PM

    Yet another "distinguished" academic who received his training long before electronic cigarettes were even dreamed of, is wheeled out by the antique public health establishment, stuffed full of last century's ideologies and presented to the public as an "authority" on a subject he seems to know very little about. Professor Olver claims that there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit, yet the number of ecig users around the world is doubling every year, and there is a growing mountain of research which verifies that the vast majority of users are ex-smokers. The small cigalikes that the Tobacco companies are buying up are not particularaly effective but are a gateway out of smoking and into the world of generation 2 and 3 devices which make the switch to vaping quite painless.

    When I was still smoking and researching electronic cigarettes on the internet I didn't like the look of the Gen 2 and 3 devices. All I wanted was something that looked like a cigarette and tasted like a cigarette. This is the typical mindset of a first time ecig user. I enjoyed my little cigalike but the vapour production was poor and the battery life very short. I was coming from a 35 year 40+ a day cigarette habit and would use up a battery that took 2 hours to charge in 20 mins. Nonetheless I have not smoked a single cigarette from the day I started vaping nearly 2 years ago. Within 3 days of vaping my taste buds started to recover and I began to lose interest in tobacco flavours and wanted to try new ones. I was also tired of living my life around a battery charger, so after two weeks I tried one of the larger devices and some fruit flavoured ejuice. That was the end of my cigalike use, and I now have a collection of Generation 2 and 3 personal vaporisers, and have no more intention of quitting nicotine than I do of quitting caffeine, another soft recreational drug on a par with nicotine as far its effect on human health.

    Nicotine has been widely studied and is known not to be carcinogenic. On it's own, suspended in Propylene Glycol (widely used and regarded as safe) it is also not as addictive as in cigarettes. This is partly because cigarettes have Ammonia added to them which potentiates the delivery of nicotine making cigarettes more addictive than they would otherwise be. My ejuice does not contain Ammonia, or any other of the 400 or so chemicals added to cigarettes by tobacco companies.

    It is common for vapers to lower their nicotine levels over time and some even drop down to zero nicotine but keep vaping simply to satisfy the hand-to-mouth-habit, which surely is utterly harmless. All studies so far show conclusively that electronic cigarettes are at leat 95% safer than traditional cigarettes. In his own words even Professor Olver admits "electronic cigarettes are almost certainly less harmful than smoking". That's all that matters to me. I do not know if they are 100% safe but very little in life is. Just look at the additives listed on any processed food product. Do we really know what we are eating? Is the city air we breathe 100% safe?

    Why attempt to ban a product that is so popular with smokers and so obviously much safer, while deadly tobacco cigarettes remain on sale on every street corner? It defies all common sense. The WA Cancer Council has totally lost the plot. The innovation of a device which replicates smoking to the satisfaction of its users without subjecting them to carbon monoxide and tar and anywhere up to 50 other known carcinogens is the greatest leap forward in the fight against cancer of the last hundred years. Cancer Councils and the public health establishment as a whole should be running through the streets shouting "hallelujah!". The answer has finally been found. But no, they are quite happy for tobacco cigarettes to be sold far and wide and for the continued promotion of a useless array of products from pharmaceutical companies, some of which contain the exact same ingredients as ejuice, but with other nasty chemicals added such as Hydrochloric Acid, (and it chills me to the bone to even recall my experience with the horryfying drug Champix); they just don't want us using the safest effective method available. Why? Simple. The dark agenda of profits, taxes, funding, power, control and politics. Cancer is big business. If every smoker converted to vaping the rate of lung cancer would plummet. It's not just tobacco companies who stand to lose, but pharmaceutical companies, the Government and of course the public health establishment at large. It is wrongful indoctrination at the highest levels of the education system that produces this kind of bad thinking from good people. Smokers who are discouraged from trying electronic cigarettes due to obsolete ideological extremism like this will carry the ignorance of public health officials upon their own backs to their early graves.

    Smokers, do not stop your search for the truth about electronic cigarettes at this article, even though I'm sure Professor Olver sincerely believes everything he's been taught and may well be a righteous man. Do your own research (here's a good start http://www.ecigalternative.com/ecigarette-studies-research.htm ) and make your own informed decision. I, for one, have made my choice, and am happier, healthier and wealthier for it.

    Smoking kills. Ecigs save lives.

  25. Old Dog:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 05:11 PM

    I won't bore you with another testamonial, but I switched over to vaping after
    42 years of smoking and multiple failed attempts to quit with useless Pharma NRT
    and mind altering drugs(Zyban).

    I got on the vaping bandwagon quite early and after a few weeks of dual use I'm
    almost three years smoke free and have no urge to return to the habit.
    The health benefits are self evident.

    I rarely use my Provari these days and would be lucky to vape 8/10 ml of low nic
    juice each week ... I enjoy it with my cuppa in the morning and afternoon beer.

    I have taken a keen interest in the health/political debates surrounding vaping
    over the last two years and I've noticed how the demonization of this benign
    technology has increased exponentially in line with consumer uptake.

    It is a disruptive new technology that is threatening the status quo of the global
    nicotine market, and has exposed the incestious relations between Pharma, Tobacco
    Control, Public Health and their affiliated NGO's

    There has always been a difference of opinion within Public Health on the merits
    of harm reduction, and with the increasing uptake of vaping it's now becoming a
    polarising chasm between the enlightened THR advocates and the moralising
    prohibitionists.

    In a few years when the dust has settled, scapegoats will be sought and they
    certainly won't be coming from the executive offices of BP, BT or Gov.
    To appease the millions of smokers who were obstructed in their quest for a
    healthier alternative, the media will target those who were most vociferously
    opposed within the group mandated by society to 'first do no harm'.

    The rise of vaping world wide is testament enough for it's efficacy in cessation
    and smokers are switching in droves.

    Public Health professionals need to sniff the winds of change, abandon outdated
    dogma and set a course for common sense.

  26. John:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 06:47 PM

    I was a 20 year + smoker, tried the lot, patches, inhalers, champix (dont touch that crap) etc nothing worked for more than a short time.

    I quit smoking on day one of using Ecigs.. they made it easy to quit.. really if I could ANYONE can.

    Yet these idiots get them banned? I researched the hell out of them before I tried them, and everything I saw showed they were better than breathing in smoke and chemicals.

    Who would have though that the cancer council would be PRO cancer?

  27. John:
    Apr 17, 2014 at 07:01 PM

    As a vaper, and one that has search through many sites world wide looking for this or that.

    I have NEVER once seen any vaping product directed at children. Not once!

    So how can you say its directed at children? Show us one link to back this up.

    Every ecig related purchase I have made has been from an 18+ website that needed my credit card details to prove I'm 18.

    Please dont make stuff up.. we are not falling for it.

  28. Ricky:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 01:46 AM

    Australian kids and cigarettes

    "One look at the online marketing of electronic cigarettes and you can see the same old tactics for luring and addicting young people"

    Funny Because most of the adverts for ecigs I look at target smokers if anyone

    "But if electronic cigarettes do not become commonplace, history says their appeal to young Australians will be limited".

    in the same way that any new drug that is illegal coming into Australia from another country is not appealing to them?? Explains our hard drug problem in Australia....

    Just as a last note to this subject header but I am yet to see a minor using an Ecig. But have seen plenty smoking cigarettes.

    Electronic cigarettes and quitting

    "Electronic cigarettes are promoted as a less-harmful alternative to tobacco smoking and in some cases as a way for smokers to quit. But there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit. "

    I was a 40+ a day smoker to 0 for 23 months now. And reading comments above I would have to say pull the earplugs out turn up you hearing aid and get you reading glasses on. If you do the above you will find more than enough evidence that it does work. Maybe not for 100% of users but its had a 99% success rate for my friends and I only say 99% because one of them still has a cigar from time to time on special occasions the rest have successfully 100% quit. So your lack of evidence is disappearing.

    Also please feel free to point out to me which one of your approved methods have a 100% success rate ????

    "As well as the risk that they may re-normalise cigarette use in young people, there are concerns that electronic cigarette vapours and other unknown contents could cause harms in users and in nonusers exposed to second-hand emissions."

    http://wtkr.com/2013/10/14/studies-disprove-some-negative-health-risks-associated-with-e-cigs/

    Ill let the doctor and scientists answer that point ...

    The ethics of promoting electronic cigarettes

    "There is a myth that electronic cigarettes are a threat to the tobacco industry, so they must be a good thing. The fact is, major tobacco companies are investing heavily in the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes."

    Major Tobacco companies are just jumping on the band wagon. I mean really wouldn't you ? If I had X product and Y product was offering my customers (lets for argument sake say in theory) the same sort of product that (possibility is better for them) with an ever growing world market % increase. Damn right I would be trying to get my finger in that pie its just smart business... Does not mean they control it!!!!!

    "It is also a serious concern that non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are available in Australia, can be lawfully sold to children, and are subject to no controls."

    so do the right thing take it to the pollies get it taken to parliament and get some sort of regulation on it, so that we can have a safe controlled market in aus.

    "This is despite the risks they pose in re-normalising cigarette use in young people – to whom they are clearly targeted, with fruit and energy drink flavours, as well as tobacco flavours"

    I am 30 years old and my favourite flavour is Redbull and sweet apple. Musk being a close third. and I now find that "tobacco flavours" very off putting and taste terrible. So could it not be that they are supplying for demand not because they are targeting kids ??

    In conclusion

    I am a Vaper and proud and I am tired of people scare mongering on a subject that they have clearly put little to no research , time or effort into. Do I pretend that Ecigs are 100% safe NO I don't simply because no there is not enough research out there to confirm this beyond a shadow of a doubt. are they safer and healthier than a cigarette. That has been proven. I know what is in my liquid and they are safe and found in most foods or common use items. do I know the 4000+ things in a cigarette. Hell No but I know that stuff is bad. and has been proven bad for you.

    If the best you can do is mount an argument mainly based around concern for children then like I said before get regulation on sale and advertising the same as cigarettes. but don't sit there and pretend they are the worst thing in the world..

    End Rant









  29. Greg:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    My story is like the many before me and the many more to come .. 30 years of smoking and tried many times and many ways to quit most were unsuccessful. Put up with the pain and nightmares that occurred with champix and yes gave up for 3 months.
    At a party got the urge and took one cigarette .. the nicotine rush was amazing oops back on the smokes. was gifted a cigalike but the headache and my attitude from nicotine withdrawal was unbearable back on the smokes .. finally introduced to a vaporizer and nicotine juice and never looked back .. these things are just what was needed to take that final step to quit smoking for ever. I still get the pleasure stimulus i got from smoking without all the coughing .. morning vomits .. and health related side effects that drawing smoke from a burning leaf had given me in the past. I have since shown my device to friends who were heavy smokers wanting to quit and they are now thankful as they are now non smokers and feeling the positive benefits for themselves. The devices themselves weather cigalikes or v2 - v3 personal vaporizes cause no health risk and therefore should be legalized everywhere as long as profe of age is 18+. The nicotine ejuice however could be authorized and sold through the same restrictions as harmful cigarettes to people who prove to be 18+ at which age we are free to choose smoking .. drinking .. both more harmful than vaping. I urge any smokers out there that want to quit but failed through NRT or drugs, get online .. buy a proper personal vaporizer and import nicotine ejuice .. the money i have saved "minimum $50 per week" alone adds up really fast. And now i feel fit enough to go out and enjoy life doing some of the things with the money i have saved. EXTREME CAUTION is the heading and i hope the people attracted to it read down through the comments to make their own mind up !

  30. Gavin Evans:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 02:22 PM

    And so the Aussie government condemns people who just want to stop using tobacco to a possible slow and nasty death, with out considering all the world wide research and proof of the massive health improvements e-cigs can bring, personally after 18 months vaping l haven't felt better for decades, condolences to all the Aussie vapers and don't give up trying to get this stupidity over turned !!!

  31. Ron:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 04:24 PM

    Try doing some minor research in places like the European Journal of Public health, before publishing articles like this http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/11/eurpub.cku049.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=WwzSqMwg8VvIF22

  32. Jenny:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 06:40 PM

    "The lesson is simple: once a harmful, addictive product is in wide circulation it is very difficult to reign in the damage, especially when it is targeted at young people."

    What if your fears turn out to be unfounded? What if, in countries who allow their citizens the right to choose, it is found over time that vaporisers are a safe and extremely effective alternative to smoking, and young people have quickly lost interest in them? How many Western Australian lives will be lost while you are waiting to see if your predictions turn out to be correct?

    Swedish Snus was made illegal here because of fears that turned out to be completely unfounded. It has been widely used in Sweden for over 20 years and they now have the lowest rate of smoking in the Western world, and the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease and smoking related cancers. How many Australian lives could have been saved in the last 20 years if the government didn't ban it on the basis of fear, rather than evidence of harm?

    These are the dangers of ideological based arguments that become laws. These are the dangers of a living in a Nanny State. Nannies can, and have frequently been, wrong.

  33. Rupert Allen:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 09:05 PM

    A study just released by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders. This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.

  34. Stephen:
    Apr 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    My wife smoked for over 50 yrs and after many quit attempts over the years ... using ev'ry form of treatment recommended she finally won her battle 6 months ago when she began using an e -vape .. they're not cigarettes and calling them as such puts an unnecessary bad connotation on them, in my eyes the're a life saving technology and should be ... if not embraced ... then at least accepted as a safer alternative to smoking by the health authorities ... thanks for reading this

  35. David H:
    Apr 20, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    It is rubbish articles like this that has diminished my faith in "Public Health" bodies. The health benefits of Ecigs is abundantly clear, as illustrated by the other comments. Is the motive for his article funding related, (Big Pharma etc)? Is it "group think"? Or is it genuine ignorance?
    Ecigs are designed to be safe, that's the whole point. Every day they are developing and will no doubt become even better.
    There are now greater than 700 thousand Vapers in UK who no longer use Tobacco included in 2.1 million who Vape. I have no idea how many have quit Tobacco & Ecigs, there must be some. Go on, tell me that is not a GOOD THING.

  36. Rebecca Blezard:
    Apr 21, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Wow another health authority there to serve and protect doing the exact opposite. I'm from the UK and we are seeing a similar stance being taken over here by athoritys supposedly commited to reducing cancer. "There is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit" NO there is overwhelming evidence that electronic cigarette help smokers to quit. You are choosing not to look.

    The biggest disappointment for me is the waste of opportunity due to politics and fear.

  37. S Howard:
    Apr 21, 2014 at 03:55 AM

    1: "By the middle of this century, around one billion people will have died prematurely because they smoked".
    2: "electronic cigarettes are almost certainly less harmful than smoking".
    3: "The behaviour of Australian teenagers reflects that of adults."

    I don't believe anything more need be said...






  38. mark:
    Apr 21, 2014 at 07:30 AM

    35yrs of smoking nothing worked,6 months on vaping and down to 6mg of nic ,don't ban this ,you will kill people

  39. Justin:
    Apr 22, 2014 at 03:00 AM

    This article is meant to focus on "factual reasons why Cancer Council urges caution on electronic cigarettes and would like to see a tightening of the loopholes around their availability.".

    How about starting by using facts instead of opinions. This article is clearly tailored to provide more misinformation to support the case to ban PVs.

    I'm a 20yr smoker who has quit for 6months so far thanks to PVs. One way or another, I will keep vaping rather than turn to your NRTs or cigarettes.

    Throughout all these debates, I can't help but wonder why don't you just ban cigarettes altogether? It doesn't make sense to keep arguing against vaping, yet ignore the fact I can go down to the shops right now, buy a pack of cigarettes and light up in front of some children.

  40. Judith:
    Apr 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I am 63 years old and have been smoking for 58 years. This is not a misprint, my father used to get me to light his cigarettes in the car when I was 5 years old, I may even have been 4.
    I bought my first pack of cigarettes at 14 years of age with the first money I earned. Of course I thought for many years that I could give up anytime. Ha ha. I tried cold turkey and hypnosis many times and then in the 90's the pharmaceuticals began to arrive.
    My first was Zyban. Great! It gave me a heart attack in 1997. My arteries were clear then and still are and heart attacks are a know side effect of Zyban. I have been smoking for the 17 years since without any heart problems. Many attempts with NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) followed - patches, gum, the old inhalers, lozenges etc.
    Then came Champix and I tried three times despite increasing abdominal pain with each attempt. Last year I had a colonoscopy and the surgeon took 15 biopsies along my bowel to check for damage from Champix!!! My father died of bowel cancer so Champix is off the menu.
    I had resigned myself to a slow and painful death from emphysema when the people at the garage where I have been buying my tobacco for 30 years suggested vaping.
    I began vaping on 17 April 2014 and was shocked when my smoking dropped from about 50 to 20 on the first day. I wasn't vaping much but found that a couple of vapes got rid of the craving instead of lighting and smoking a whole cigarette. I am happy, my dog is happy, my doctor will be happy and I'm sure my neighbours are happy not to have to listen to my hacking cough in the morning. In fact, my only problem is that I can't wipe the smile off my face and my smile muscles are sore.
    For the first time in my life I think I may be able to rid myself of my nicotine addiction as I have precise control of my nicotine intake and I can withdraw slowly, over years if necessary, so my body can get used to it's absence without producing stress and anxiety reactions.
    In my limited internet research on the subject of tobacco company PVs (Personal Vapours)it seems to me that vapers are snubbing any PV manufactured by tobacco companies as they do not want to contribute any more to their profits.
    As for youth smoking I would like to point out that PVs are not easy to get or use, liquid nicotine is very hard to get, cigarettes are very easy to get. I think vaping may have the opposite effect to what you fear and there is research to support this http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf). There are other reasons why I think it would help and I would be happy to elaborate on these if you wish to contact me.
    Tobacco smokers are voting on their favourite NRT and that is the use of PVs. Do not let this wonderful opportunity you have to possibly wipe out tobacco smoking in years, not decades.

  41. Peter:
    Apr 22, 2014 at 01:14 PM


    As a convert..going from 50 a day for 40 years to ZERO!.... am adding my voice to this chorus of complaint against the position of the Cancer Council.

  42. Darren Wood:
    Apr 23, 2014 at 07:40 PM

    Well these idiotic devices haven't stopped any of my workmates from smoking normal ciggies, they just look more stupid. Got me beat as to why anyone, in their right mind would smoke in this day and age, knowing how dangerous it is. I have no sympathy for those who claim they can't stop. I did, cold turkey. All it takes is a small dose of harden up. If you can't stop, then you are weak, soft, and gutless.

  43. LJ:
    Apr 24, 2014 at 08:41 AM

    there are concerns that electronic cigarette vapours and other unknown contents could cause harms in users and in nonusers exposed to second-hand emissions

    There are also concerns that the extra hour of sunlight during daylight saving will fade curtains more.

    Here is a peer reviewed journal version of a paper on a study by Dr Burstyn that shows that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/18/


    Electronic cigarettes are promoted as a less-harmful alternative to tobacco smoking and in some cases as a way for smokers to quit. But there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit.

    My evidence would be that I went from a 30 year pack (or more) a day habit to zero on the day I started vaping. That's evidence enough for me, even if I disregarded the thousands of other testimonials I've read.


    Therapeutically approved nicotine replacement products are already available as an aid to quitting

    Yes, I tried these, many, many times ... guess what? I kept smoking, just like most people that try them. One that I didn't try is the inhaler but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around why it is legal to sell and not only has the exact same ingredients as vaping liquid but more things, like Hydrochloric Acid. I won't even go into the number of deaths directly attributable to Champix.


    harmful, addictive product

    Please tell me why nicotine is harmful. More harmful than caffeine? Alcohol? Tobacco? Should I stop eating tomatoes too because I know that they containe nicotine naturally. If nicotine is so harmful, why are the nicotine replacement products ok? Why have the pharmaceutical companies recently come forward to say that long term use of nicotine is not harmful?


    So, if we follow the money trail ... government is losing money due to loss of hefty taxes on cigarettes, big pharmaceutical companies are losing money due to loss of income on nicotine replacement therapies (which is apparently causing them great concern in Europe), any entity that relies on people smoking or suffering the effects of smoking loses out because they may be made redundant and unnecessary. Hmmmm, Cancer Council ... oh, I see where you're going now.

  44. Chris:
    Apr 24, 2014 at 08:45 AM

    "young people – to whom they are clearly targeted, with fruit and energy drink flavours, as well as tobacco flavours."
    This is a ridiculous assumption said purely to scare monger. Studies have shown that the range of flavours assists adults in moving away from tobacco more successfully.
    Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 7272-7282; doi:10.3390/ijerph10127272
    Has it occured to the cancer council that adults may want to taste something nice and not smell like an ash tray.
    Not one E-cig business in Australia is backed by big tobacco. Most are small online stores run by people with normal full time jobs. So to suggest that big tobacco has any influence on E-cigs in Australia where nicotine isn't even able to be readily sold is once again scare mongering.
    I'm disappointed in you Cancer Council....you're basing your ideas on assumptions and opinions NOT evidence and that is scary.

  45. Sam:
    Apr 24, 2014 at 02:15 PM

    I'm saddened by the CC taking this position. The thoughts I would share have been expressed many times in these comments already.

  46. david:
    Apr 24, 2014 at 08:19 PM

    I can honestly say that Personal vaporizers have saved many lives. Maybe we should all just take up smoking again. At least the Gov will benefit.

  47. Margaret Boyd:
    Apr 27, 2014 at 04:15 PM

    I smoked for 40 years and gave up easily using a personal vapouriser (e-cig)
    2 &1/2 years ago. I have severe emphysema and since I started vaping my lungs feel much better. I do not cough anymore and I sincerely hope all the new research is looked at by the CC and Health Departments
    see What the Royal College of physicians has to say

    ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS ( March 2014)
    Despite the controversies, it is clear that e-cigarettes are far less hazardous than is tobacco. With more than a million UK smokers using them to help to cut down or quit smoking, they are proving to be valuable harm reduction and cessation products and could make a substantial contribution to reducing the burden of death, disability and poverty currently caused by tobacco smoking. Health professionals should embrace this potential by encouraging smokers, particularly those disinclined to use licensed nicotine replacement therapies, to try them, and, when possible, to do so in conjunction with existing NHS smoking cessation and harm reduction support. E-cigarettes will save lives, and we should support their use.
    http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/commentary/what-you-need-know-about-electronic-cigarettes

  48. Altered1:
    Apr 27, 2014 at 05:56 PM

    This is a golden opportunity to rid Australia of cigarettes in less than a generation, and replace them with a much safer and continually evolving product that has MUCH better success rates than traditional NRT, and won't drive users to suicide or psychosis like Champix or Zyban. Step Up Cancer Council, support E-Cigs, put some funding behind them and save lives.

  49. Andrew:
    Apr 27, 2014 at 06:27 PM

    I simply cannot believe what I have read here. The cancer council - peak body for cancer reduction information - is openly opposing a device that is clearly reduces cancer rates, whilst in the same article openly endorsed pharmaceutical nicotine drugs.

    They clearly both have the potential to reduce cancer rates and should both be supported. I know at least a half dozen people that have significantly improved health by switching from regular cigarettes to electronic ones. These are people who have tried the current nicotine replacement methods and haven't managed to be successful with them. The burgeoning electronic cigarette industry could most certainly use some regulation - to bring it in line with the standards of pharmaceutical products - but nonetheless, should most certainly be viewed as a valid alternative to cancer-causing combustible tobacco, or at worst viewed with a "wait and see" approach. My fear is that if electronic cigarettes were to be banned, they would turn back to incredibly harmful regular cigarettes.

    This hypocrisy of this article runs dangerously close to to having readers draw the conclusion that the Cancer Council is some kind of shill for the pharmaceutical industry.

    I've always supported the Cancer Council financially in the past but in light of this article, I shall now give my support to anti-cancer organisations that are sincerely interested in finder better health outcomes for current users of combustible tobacco.

  50. John:
    Apr 27, 2014 at 08:31 PM

    Why does the Cancer Council believe every smoker who uses PV's wants to quit or is using them to quit. Many want to continue smoking but know it will kill them. The use of PV's has been proven to be many, many time less harmful with many other benefits.
    As an ex smoker and a non vaper, I supported my wife through her struggles to quit using next to useless 'approved NRT'. It was always the same vicious cycle and she always ended back on them and contracted Cancer. Fortunately PV's were around and I managed to get some with nicotine imported for her. As you know these are not available in Australia where they should be as readily available as the cancer sticks. She would not have managed her recovery without it. 2 years on and still going strong.
    How about you getting some more recent research results before putting out this scaremongering vitriol.

  51. Spyro P.:
    Apr 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    After one month of switching from tobacco to vaping I can exercise twice as long and as hard, wheezing, coughing and stinking clothes have disappeared, my finances and my lifestyle have improved, even my teeth look whiter! And you're telling me I should be extremely cautious?

    Well, no.

  52. Jeremy:
    Apr 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I am extremly concerned that the CC has taken such a hypocritical, shielded and un-educated view on PV's. Would it be that hard for you to read some solid research and documentation that is readily available on the internet before making outlandish, incorrect and factually incorrect statements on the issue. It has made your organisation look like a bunch of fools. I seriously struggle to understand how an organisation which is interned to prevent the spread of cancer through research can ultimately say that a device that will prevent people from smoking tobacco cigarettes is harmful. You have to be kidding yourselves right? Further to this I would like to know how you can ban a product that 'looks like smoking' with the hand to mouth action, but are quite happy for the lethal product to be legally sold in every service station and supermarket across the country. It can only make me think that big tobacco and pharmaceutical companies are lining your bank accounts too much for you to speak out against them. I suggest you go to some real research into the topic and come back with a more educated and factual argument than the above release.

  53. Chris McGrigor:
    Apr 28, 2014 at 01:16 PM

    "One look at the online marketing of electronic cigarettes and you can see the same old tactics for luring and addicting young people" - No. Just no. Electronic Cigarettes were and are designed for current smokers. To my knowledge I have never seen them marketed at young people, or people whom are not current smokers.
    Please Cancer Council please.... stop using this flawed argument, or at least provide solid proof to back up your claim.
    And while I'm at it, please stop trying to destroy a very successful method of keeping Australians off cigarettes. People will go back to cigarettes if you are successful. And those people are going to die from lung disease and the "cancer" you want to protect them from.

  54. Loretta Flynn:
    Apr 28, 2014 at 01:57 PM

    Your article is skewed. I am appalled that a cancer information and prevention organization would actually publish such negative propaganda as this. How very subjective, parochial and uniformed the esteemed professor's article is. I am sure he means well but this article is one man's idealistic view and you publish it front page under the heading "warning!" You are scaring away tens of thousands of potential quitters. What of the thousands of smokers who have already quit using this device? I urge you to give them an equal voice.

    Prof Olver has condemned with no personal experience or stated research and put the lives of smokers wanting to quit and those wishing to stay off carcinogenic cigarettes at risk due to your influence on the Health Department.

    I say "Please stop this apparently biased propaganda"...save lives and be objective like you are supposed to and allow these devices to be permitted as health aids. Of course children won't use them. They are adult devices, unlike childrens' lollies.

    The professor has evidently not examined any quantifiable research! He and your organization are fear-mongering. "Why?" I ask.. well, "Who funds and 'talks' to him?" ... "who funds and 'talks' to you"? My respect for you both has declined due to the heading and content of this article.

    Let's quantify the outright benefits of electronic cigarettes rather than risk smokers rights to quit smoking using this tool. I am in contact with thousands of people who use electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes or vaporizers are an alternative to carcinogenic cigarettes and as such should be deemed a health AID, not a health threat. Non-smokers underestimate the difficulty of quitting. This is a stop-smoking tool, not a toy. I am a member of Cancer Australia and have smoked for over 35 years, trying every known nicotine replacement, non-nicotine replacement and chemical available with no success. Electronic cigarettes actually worked and although I am not proud of the hand-mouth action of the tool it is what works. My child is proud that I use an e-cigarette (or vaporizer as I prefer to call it) rather than smoke dangerous chemicals.

    The government has not outlawed carcinogenic cigarettes, why lobby government departments to outlaw non-carcinogenic cigarettes? Where is the logic, except for a pittance of any excuse from a holier than thou professor (all due respect given to his great accomplishments)who says hand-mouth is a bad example.
    Parenting encompasses literally thousands of examples. Is the professor going to state everything I do as a parent is wrong? It is for parents to teach right from wrong, not your organisation, not the Pro.

    In every human activity there will be hobbyists, but that is no reason to condemn outright. Vaping e-cigarettes is basically safe. Why is cancer org not advocating this as a wonderful alternative to smoking?

    I know your views influence my future. Please advocate for me and other quitters. Don't denigrate e-cigs. They are a wonderful invention.

    PLEASE don't force me to go back to expensive and carcinogenic cigarettes simply because one idealist who hasn't had to try to quit influences you and you influence government.

    I urge you to lobby government for proper sale in shops(restricted to persons over 18 years of age) of nicotine-based e-liquid and electronic cigarettes in Australia as a health aid to save lives. That is your goal isn't it... saving lives?

  55. Freddy:
    Apr 28, 2014 at 08:46 PM

    CCA is promoting a quit smoking paradigm that has very low success rate but creates revenue for drug companies, doctors, counsellors and governments.

    Meanwhile, out there in the real world, people who want to stop smoking are no longer bothering with the failed big pharma, big medicine products and programs and instead are taking up vaping in their thousands...and it works!

    The market place has decided which is the successful method for quitting smoking and it is not the crummy patches, chewing gum, sprays, drugs, counselling, tv ads, etc, etc. These are failed attempts to supply products and services to meet the demand, namely, the desire to quit smoking.

    Vaping represents a threat to so many comfy incomes that the conventional therapy is rounding on it by using its power to prohibit.

    Let's face it. Big tobacco and the government, who reaps $m in tobacco taxes, probably want vaping banned too. After all if someone comes up with an alternative that actually works, it's their cosy incomes gone too.

    And that alternative is vaping.

  56. Michael:
    Apr 29, 2014 at 05:10 PM

    Quitting smoking is the first thing we should be aiming at, not the condemnation of such a helpful product. You support current NRT but not vaping which is a NRT, your strawman arguments are only killing lives not saving them. From all the people I have met no non-smoker has ever been interested in vaping after seeing me vape and in fact seem to be as against trying it as they would be smoking.

  57. Pietro:
    Apr 29, 2014 at 06:18 PM

    My experience is just like the many comments that have come before.
    Vaping has categorically allowed me to become an Ex-smoker. I no longer smoke and it took me just 1 day, the day I switched to vaping.

    Not one reply by the Professor.

    Very telling........

  58. Adam (TobaccoIsDead):
    Apr 29, 2014 at 09:15 PM

    Until last year I was a smoker. I struggled over the course of years to quit, and the NRT options you seem to approve of did me no good at all.
    Transitioned to e-cigs, now on enhanced personal vaporisers, and my 'quit journey' was instant. Haven't smoked one old-school cigarette since October.
    Call it anecdotal, but it's a fact.
    If your support for aggressive anti-vaping propaganda inspires bans or over-regulation, and access to successful and safe smoking cessation aids is limited or removed, then many smokers (like the one I was) will be denied the opportunity to make the switch away from burning carcinogens.
    In direct reference to your claim about "concerns that electronic cigarettes could keep smokers addicted to tobacco" is plainly false and not based on reality. Once a smoker becomes a vaper (should this be the method that said smoker is choosing to employ in order to quit tobacco) he or she is highly likely to reject any and all reversion to clutches of big tobacco. I for one would never even contemplate buying an e-cig device from a tobacco company or subsidiary of a tobacco company. That might just be me, but I think it can be said that many ex-smoker vapers *hate* tobacco companies.
    Most every other comment here says all the other things I think about this ridiculous, harmful, deceptive, and devious article.

  59. Paul K:
    Apr 29, 2014 at 09:36 PM

    30 years a smoker, 2 years attempting to give up, 4 failures then i found vaping. haven't had a cigarette for 2 years now and will never again. vaping was the only successful method for me and lots of other smokers. please don't take it away.

  60. Steve:
    May 06, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Thanks Cancer Council I just went and bought some dirty, dangerous tobacco because after 12 months of vaping I can now no longer buy the liquids. I hope that you will assist me when I'm dying from cancer from taking up smoking again!

  61. Sav:
    May 07, 2014 at 02:40 PM

    There is a myth that electronic cigarettes are a threat to the tobacco industry, so they must be a good thing. The fact is, major tobacco companies are investing heavily in the development and promotion of electronic cigarettes. That alone should indicate that there are parallel and overlapping markets for combustible and electronic cigarettes.

    Although it is true that Tobacco companies are indeed purchasing e-liquid producing businesses in order to secure their place in what they would see as a new enterprise (both a threat and yet an advantage for the early adopters) the only reason why it is just tobacco companies showing interest is because they are still at an advantage to make money, they don't need to abide by our laws, it leaves the consumer viable for the laws in their own country.

    I mean really, who knows what goes into the cheaper products produced in China (or any for that matter)? I dare say that they're fine, but I can't be sure as they do not follow any Australian-defined, recognisable ISO protocol or quality standards.

    By placing a prohibition on the sales of such a popular product (that works) will simply drive it underground. Spreading this pointless stigma e-cigs is NOT the way forward, despite it being a cheap way to try to suppress it, how much did this article cost to produce?

    Instead of banning the importation of e-liquids and e-cigs, why not legalise it with the same restrictions that the Government currently enforces. Over 18s only, a maximum of 3 months supply of nicotine (which is NOT AT ALL used by ALL vapers, some are happy with just flavoured juice to satisfy their cravings).

    We win, the Government makes money on taxes and LOCAL businesses can benefit from having their consumer products health regulated and guidelines followed.

    The Government and good organisations (such as the Cancer Council) have always been good at providing Facts, Rules, Guidelines, Help and Advice. Let's make them and stick to it.

  62. Aaron:
    May 07, 2014 at 07:35 PM

    Yet another ex-smoker here. 18 years of 20 - 30 a day until 5 weeks ago when I got a PV. I'd tried patches, gum, those little mint things & cold turkey. Failed with all of them except the PV.

    It's time to move on from this "no research shows" excuse & actually do some research!

    You're the Cancer Council for crying out loud! Support initiatives that help prevent cancer!

    As long as this is the stance of the Cancer Council, I will be directing my donations elsewhere.

  63. randal linning:
    May 09, 2014 at 09:41 AM

    WOW!! I have good blood pressure.. I don't puff and sweat after a five minute walk, my fingers and toes no longer tingle. I no longer cough every morning when I wake up. I actually feel good and enjoy life more... all I did was make one simple yet life changing decision, I started vaping and put the ciggies down... nothing else worked, the medicated approach, gum, inhaler hypnotherapy, etc. I guess more research towards the benefits of vaping is a must, an essential, as I believe my life and the lives and lifestyle of many current smokers could be saved

  64. Thomas Morgan:
    May 09, 2014 at 09:46 AM

    Thanks mum, but I think we can choose to do what we like when it comes to personal health.

  65. Rebecca Roberts:
    May 09, 2014 at 01:22 PM

    Wow.. I was a 40 year smoker and I quit because of vaping after so many failed attempts to quit, vaping finally worked! Following the bad logic of this article, I would still be smoking. Everyone knows how deadly cigarettes are. People want to live and nobody should be sabotauging other people's chance to live. People deserve the right to make a lifesaving choice for themselves. I can now finally breathe again without coughing, I have more stamina, more energy, and so many of my health conditions disappeared or improved. At 52 years of age, I was on a steep DECLINE, but now I feel I've leveled off and I just might now live through the damage smoking has done to my body. The article needs to say such truths as I've just said that so many other vapers around the world are saying. #VapingKicksAsh #IMPROOF

  66. Bill Burke:
    May 09, 2014 at 01:41 PM

    This is pretty ridiculous. Unless we see some evidence that indicates that they are as bad or worse than cigarettes why shouldn't people change over? I believe we should work towards a world were no one is addicted to nicotine. However, Is there evidence to suggest these things can give you cancer? If not the cancer council should 'butt' out.

  67. dre H:
    May 09, 2014 at 01:54 PM

    "But there is a lack of evidence that electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit."

    Myself and at least one other person I know have quit smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes. There is your proof.

  68. Scott:
    May 09, 2014 at 02:39 PM

    Another article without any true research being done, very dissapointing. Like others posting here, I smoked a pack a day for 39 years. I tried everything to give up, drugs, patches, nicotine spray, gum you name it I tried it. I then found vaping. I started vaping, I haven't touched a smoke since. I make my own juice and have slowly been reducing the amount of nicotine slowly. I have finnaly found a product that works and I feel great. I have no desire to smoke another ciggerette, they smell disgusting! To ban this amazing life saving product would be ludicris. By all means legislate the industry, but fairly. If these products were taken off the market tomorrow, I would definately go out and buy a pack of smokes. Seems this type of article is in direct contrast of what the cancer council should be about.

  69. Owen Phillis:
    May 10, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I've easily transferred my nicotine habit from tobacco to e-liquids, and I feel and smell a thousand times better for it, I now have complete, measurable control over my nicotine intake, and am in the process of dosage reduction.

    I'd like to offer my view of the current state, ignoring WA.

    Kids:
    Kids are prone to doing dumb things, but they can't access nicotine. So those that do experiment with vaping will not be exposed to the debilitating effects of nicotine addiction. I'd suggest that without addictive properties drawing kids further in, they will soon refocus on satisfying their sugar and caffeine additions through cola.

    Quitting:
    What is quitting? Some seem to believe it's a painful process that smokers must make right of passage through to rejoin the right thinking members of society. I've been down that particular road more times than I care to remember.

    Lets not confuse tobacco and nicotine addiction. Simple fact is that for a 80+ percent of users, vaping has been a success in terms of dependence transference away from smoking. Those people feel the benefits personally, per the comments here, and current research suggests they are much better off vaping than smoking.

    Thank the almighty for nicotine dosage accuracy, the choice for vaper has become one of how much nicotine will they be consuming. This is a massive boost to the community of smokers looking to reduce dependency on nicotine.

    Promotion:
    I've never seen any marketing for these types of product.

    The science, research, and analysis methods available today are fantastic compared to the 1920's. Huge amounts of research and analysis has already been completed, should we look to the available research today and draw some conclusions?

    There are some excellent references in the comments above, which offer a great place to start.

  70. Michael:
    May 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Absolute bull,comments above do explain my experience and thought's on this subject.

    I was a pack a day smoker on week days and sometimes more on the weekend, I only found personal vaporizers towards the end of last year and haven't touched real cigarette since! I do personally feel that this has improved my health. Friends and family have also noticed a big difference and are happy that I found the vaporizers. I like most others did try all the available nicotine products from the chemist that didn't work as well as champix that almost made me end up in hospital... after my bad experience (3 days in) with champix.. back to cigarettes i went!

    I see where this is going to end up... in 12 to 25 months this will be setup for controlled sale through chemists and possible sale only with scripts obtained through your local GP, increased price and it will either be taxed heavily or sway the other way and the government will be giving grants to decrease the cost as it is a healthier cheaper way to sway tobacco smokers away from cigarettes!!! As mentioned in most posts above there is proven studies that it is a cleaner heather alternative to lighting up tobacco cigarettes, not saying there is no health risks at all as like all consumer products there can be to some point all the way down to the cosmetic product's you can buy with harmful chemicals that are approved for sale here in Australia that can harm you at high doses.

    Stop the bull and pull down the smoke screen do the research and share the results, surely there is money for it... look at the cost of quit smoking advertisements on tv and Mr Abbots tax increase as we the general public will be paying for it anyway!

    If i now decide to continue using personal vaporizers I'm forced to purchase overseas like all others at a risk of contamination or a lesser grade product... and dont forget the money spent will be going overseas and not into our economy... good job well done..

    I must note that since buying and using personal vaporizers I have never seen any adverts on the internet that would appeal to underage people and never seen a person on the street that looks underage using one however everyday see teenagers wearing school uniforms smoking tobacco cigarettes and asking people to buy them cigarettes and alcohol... go figure... dont forget vaporizers are not advertised on tv however every day quit smoking advertisements are and for those rebellious teenagers these anti smoking advertisements dont work and just push them further into the habit.

    The "Ego" branded product that i use in no way looks like a cigarette it's black, two times the length and three to four times the thickness of a tobacco cigarette. The end doesn't imitate the burning end of a cigarette and I often get strange looks when using it in public so how is this appealing to others??

    I'm appalled once again that action has been taken without the research to back it up... we are being laughed at by the world once again....

    I personally think SUGAR is more dangerous to the general public's health and these high concentrated sugar and energy drink's that are advertised and branded to target the younger population is more of a concern as I regularly see teenagers and children buying and drinking at the shops... one could think this is the equivalent to a child buying alcohol and open them to drink a premixed alco pop earlier as it looks like something they would have been drinking for years. This is bigger issue than a small group of people selling or buying personal vaporizers and nicotine "e-juice" to either quit a bad habit or move over to a less toxic alternative!!!

    WAKE UP PLEASE

  71. Samantha:
    May 10, 2014 at 07:17 PM

    It is wonderful to read the previous comments from fellow Vapers. As an ex smoker who took up vaping 5 months ago, I have been baffled at how vaping has been demonised by so called Health Authorities around the world and Australia has now pitifully joined their ranks. Shame on you Professor for your un researched alarmist article.

  72. Peter:
    May 12, 2014 at 05:02 PM

    My story is similar to all those mentioned here, my personal vapouriser has replaced my 25 a day smoking habit. I implore you to re-evaluate your position. If PV's are banned I fear it will only be a matter of time before I return to smoking. I have not had a real cigarette for 9 months and feel fit and healthy, nothing else worked. I cannot understand why an organisation committed to fighting cancer is so unwilling to review the research both here and overseas regarding personal vapourisers.

  73. Nettie:
    May 19, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I intend to buy an e cigarette, i have tried everything, including the so called wonderful patches, etc that you push on an on going basis, that have done absolutely nothing to help me stop smoking. Why does the cancer council have to try to ban everything before they have done any real research on a product that will help somebody give up the deadly cigarette. All i find myself asking is, why do you have this kind of attitude when you want us to give up smoking tobacco?

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