Smoking cessation can be long and difficult process! Many quitting aids have been produced to help people stop smoking and help control cravings, with one of the newer ones being electronic cigarettes. Although they may seem exciting and ‘red hot’, the question remains… are they a safe and effective option?
Electronic cigarettes, or ‘E-cigarettes’ as they are more commonly and informally known, are battery-operated devices designed to simulate cigarettes. They are also referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems (or ‘ENDS’), e-shisha, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-Hookas, and e-cigs.
How do they work?
E-cigarettes heat liquid (also known as ‘e-liquid’) into an aerosol (which is often referred to as ‘vapour’). This aerosol, which contains nicotine and/or other chemicals, is inhaled by the user into their lungs, and then exhaled (giving the appearance of smoke). They are designed to be used in a similar way to tobacco cigarettes, but WITHOUT the burning of tobacco, the harmful substance found in these cigarettes! E-cigarettes may be shaped to look like cigarettes or other tobacco products, such as cigars or shishas.
Are e-cigarettes legal in South Australia?
The sale, possession and use of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is currently against the law in Australia.South Australia also specifically prohibits products that are designed to resemble tobacco products from being sold, which means that it is against the law to sell a lot of non-nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as well.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
E-cigarettes are less likely to be harmful than cigarettes. However, the short-term and long-term health effects of using them are currently unknown. Extensive evaluation on the safety and efficacy of these products is required before these types of products are approved, as they involve delivery of chemicals to the lungs. E-cigarettes that are currently on the market in Australia have NOT passed this process, therefore it cannot be guaranteed that they are safe for use.
Are e-cigarettes beneficial in smoking cessation?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has not approved any e-cigarette products as an aid to help with quitting smoking. There is limited research looking into whether e-cigarettes are as effective as other quitting aids. It is also difficult to investigate them, as the design and ingredients vary from one e-cigarette to another.
However, there are many other quitting aids that have been approved by the TGA. These include patches, gum, lozenges, mouth spray and inhalators, and medications (such as Champix or Zyban). They have been shown to be safe to use, and have also been shown to increase long-term quitting rates.
If you are considering quitting smoking, or would like some more information, please feel free to come in and see one of our friendly GPs! They will be able to provide you with information on and assistance with smoking cessation. You can book an appointment by calling us on 8269 6000.
NSW Government: Health 2016, ‘Electronic cigarettes,’ , http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco/Pages/electronic-cigarettes.aspx
Quit Resource Centre 2016, ‘E-cigarettes,’ , http://www.quit.org.au/resource-centre/policy-advocacy/policy/e-cigarettes1
Medical information disclaimer:
No advice: Our website contains general medical information. The medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such.
No warranties: The medical information on our website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Without limiting the scope above, we do not warrant or represent that the medical information on this website: will be constantly available, or available at all; or is true, accurate, complete, current or non-misleading.
Medical assistance: You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.
Interactive features: Our website includes interactive features that allow users to communicate with us. You acknowledge that, because of the limited nature of communication through our website’s interactive features, any assistance you may receive using any such features is likely to be incomplete and may even be misleading. Any assistance you may receive using any our website’s interactive features does not constitute specific advice and accordingly should not be relied upon without further independent confirmation.
Limits upon exclusions of liability: Nothing in this disclaimer will: limit or exclude any liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence; limit or exclude any liability for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; limit any liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law; or exclude any liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.
Credit:This document was created using a template from SEQ Legal (http://www.seqlegal.com).