The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is calling for nicotine e-cigarettes to be legalised in Australia following a report which shows they can help people quit conventional smoking.
The CSIRO report released on Wednesday showed that e–cigarettes can assist some smokers in giving up traditional cigarettes and provides evidence for a range of health improvements when smokers make the switch.
Executive Director of the ARA Russell Zimmerman said that Australians should have access to less harmful alternatives and without that option many will find it difficult to quit.
“According to the CSIRO’s findings, it is clear that e–cigarettes are preferred by some smokers as a cessation method as trials have found nicotine e–cigarettes are more effective at reducing conventional smoking than nicotine free e–cigarettes or no e–cigarettes,” he said.
The CSIRO’s report follows the recent Inquiry into the Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia. The ARA made a submission to the Inquiry, calling for the legalisation of these harm-reduction alternatives, as current restrictions on the sale of nicotine-based vaping products may lead to consumers importing these products from overseas or turning to black markets.
“The number of people who are already importing nicotine-based e-cigarettes from overseas is growing, which translates into a significant loss of revenue to overseas retailers.”
“Allowing retailers the opportunity to sell these harm reduction alternatives is a win-win, as it provides health benefits for the community, and economic benefits, including a reduced burden on the health system and crucial support for local retailers,” Zimmerman said.
Along with the CSIRO’s report, a Crosby Textor poll conducted in June found almost 50% of Australians and more than two thirds of smokers support the legalisation of e–cigarettes and personal vaporisers in Australia.