Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery operated devices that heat a liquid to produce a vapour that users inhale. Some e-cigarettes look a lot like traditional cigarettes while others look like everyday items such as pens, USB memory sticks, and larger cylindrical or rectangular devices. Some e-cigarettes and e-liquids contain nicotine while others do not.
Recent research from Cancer Council NSW found that e-cigarettes are being advertised and sold next to confectionary items at retail counters across NSW and tests by the NSW Ministry of Health have shown that 70 per cent of e-liquid samples collected contained high levels of nicotine. This isn’t good enough, and we believe that e-cigarettes should be treated like tobacco under the legislation.
While Australia has a long and proud history reducing the harm caused by tobacco products, a lot of our hard work is now at risk of being undone if e-cigarettes are unregulated.
Because people like you have taken action, cigarettes can’t be advertised on TV, they must be placed out of sight in shops, and they can’t be smoked on public transport or in restaurants and bars. These and other wins – wins that you have achieved – have done much to de-normalise the act of smoking and to protect the health of our families, including our kids.
Write now, NSW Parliament is debating the regulation of e-cigarettes. This is a valuable opportunity for us to urge our MPs to protect our communities from e-cigarettes.