The debate about whether to legalize electronic cigarettes in Australia is unfolding all over again, according to a story by Luke Grant for 4bc.com.au.
Grant said that a recent report suggested the push for e-cigarettes was coming from tobacco companies that were eager to lure another demographic into their market. ‘On this reasoning, vaping is presented as being a “gateway” activity,’ Grant said. ‘It supposedly leads or prompts consumers towards conventional smoking products.’
But Dr. Attila Danko, the medical director of Nicovape and the former president of the New Nicotine Alliance, Australia, was quoted as saying this was not the case.
“If it was true that e-cigarettes were a massive gateway to children becoming addicted, I wouldn’t be on the side of legalizing it,” Danko said.
“But the truth is, the use among young people is mostly experimental. They have found that teenagers who tried e-cigarettes also tried smoking. They’ve said that because they tried e-cigarettes and then they tried smoking, the e-cigarettes must have led to the smoking. But it’s just not the case.”
Danko said he could not understand the resistance around legalizing e-cigarettes, given that, comparatively, vaping was far less dangerous [than was smoking].
“The Royal College of Physicians, which has to be one of the most authoritative medical bodies in the world; they did one of the most extensive studies on the whole field, looking at all the research,” Danko said.
“They concluded that vaping almost certainly represents less than five percent of the risk of smoking.
“It’s just a no-brainer. Why would you allow the most harmful product to be freely sold everywhere and ban the far safer product?”