Fourty leading international and Australian academics and researchers including myself have written to the Therapeutics Goods Administration in support of an application to make low concentrations of nicotine designed for use within e cigarettes (“vaping”).
Within Australia, it is illegal to possess or use nicotine other than in tobacco or nicotine-replacement products, as nicotine is classified within the Poisons Standard as being a Schedule 7 “dangerous poison”.
As the primary addictive element of tobacco smoke, nicotine is area of the problem. However, it may also be area of the solution. Using clean nicotine in e-cigarettes provides smokers with an alternative way of getting the nicotine which they may be addicted with no tobacco smoke that causes almost all of the harm from smoking.
As well as delivering nicotine, e-cigarettes replicate several crucial sides of the “smoking experience”. This consists of the hand-to-mouth movement and the sensory and social elements of the habit of smoking that smokers so often miss once they make an effort to quit.
How harmful is nicotine?
The medical results of nicotine are relatively minor. It is really not a carcinogen and does not cause respiratory disease. It has only relatively minor effects on the heart, including short-lived rises in heartbeat and blood pressure levels, constriction of coronary arteries and a rise in the contracting in the heart muscle.
Nicotine in pregnancy harms the baby’s developing brain and lungs and reduces growth. It is also harmful to the adolescent brain, delays wound healing and increases insulin resistance. There is certainly some evidence in laboratory studies that nicotine may promote existing cancers.
However, when separated through the toxins in tobacco smoke and used in its pure form, there is little proof of long term harm from nicotine exposure in humans outside pregnancy and adolescence.
Reports have found the medical risks from vaping are unlikely to be more than 5% of the potential risk of smoking, and may well be substantially less than this. As the majority of best vapor cigarette users are smokers or recent ex-smokers, this represents a massive health benefit for those who move to vaping.
The effect of vaping on bystanders is also thought to be negligible. E-cigarettes release lower levels of nicotine and minimal quantities of other chemicals in to the ambient air. The expired vapour dissipates quickly without significant health risks to bystanders.
Recent research has found nicotine is far less toxic than previously thought. Many cases of intentional overdose with nicotine solutions bring about prompt vomiting and full recovery.
Similarly, accidental poisoning in kids typically causes mild side effects. Serious outcomes are rare. Most child poisoning with nicotine may be prevented with sound judgment, childproof packaging and warning labels, just like other potentially toxic medicines and cleaning products based in the home.
Overseas experience has shown e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking for younger people. Although adolescents are testing e-cigarettes, regular use by non-smokers is rare. The great greater part of adolescents use nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
In fact, the evidence suggests e-cigarettes are acting being an “exit gateway” and they are displacing smoking. It is obviously better for young adults to not use e-cigarettes, but vaping is preferable to smoking.
Smokers who want to lessen the health hazards from smoking are utilizing e-cigarettes almost exclusively being a safer option to combustible tobacco. After 10 years of overseas’ experience, there exists xocplg evidence e-cigarettes are renormalising smoking, are undermining tobacco control or are used for any significant extent for temporary, not permanent, abstinence (for example, in places in which you can’t smoke).
Why nicotine ought to be legalised
Paradoxically, current Australian laws ban a less harmful kind of nicotine intake (e-cigarettes) while allowing the widespread sale of the most lethal kind of nicotine intake (cigarettes). In spite of the legal restrictions and difficulties of access, electronic cigarette use continues to be growing rapidly within australia.
Amending the Poisons Standard will allow smokers that are unable or unwilling to quit smoking to legally access low concentrations of nicotine for harm reduction. It is also legally found in nicotine-replacement therapies such as patches, so why not e-cigarettes?
Regulation underneath the Australian Consumer Law would improve product safety and quality, restrict sales to minors and make certain child-resistant containers and appropriate advertising. It could also eliminate the black market as well as the risks related to it.
Research conducted recently estimated over 6 million European Union citizens used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. In the UK, 1.3 million ex-smokers are utilizing an electronic cigarette. Similarly, chances are thousands and thousands of Australians will quit smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes if nicotine is legally available.