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Nicotine Science and Policy - Daily Digest - Mon, 8 June 2015


Welcome Address & Closing Remarks: Global Forum on Nicotine

Hon Lik, 5 June 2015

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’m delighted to welcome you here today at The Global Forum on Nicotine, an event that has become one of the highlights of the year for the people and organisations who are shaping the present and future of nicotine products. It’s wonderful, and still astonishing, to see so many faces at this event – especially when I think back to how the industry used to be. I may be revealing my age here, but when I first started working with nicotine products, I was a lone voice struggling to be heard. [...]

In a twist of logic that completely defies me, an Australian professor and tobacco control advocate is calling for a complete ban on e-cigarette sales, but wants real cigarettes to continue being sold. And such a policy, he argues, is designed to reduce smoking. [...] Mike Daube said Australia was leading the world on reducing smoking, and the last thing we needed was the distraction of e-cigarettes.


Healthcare industry experts highlight the adverse effects of tobacco and its role in the growing incidences of cancer, while recommending measures to reduce tobacco consumption. [...] Because of intense awareness and legislations, tobacco smoking has comedown. Youth no longer consider it as a fashion statement to blow a ring!


While several heavyweight health organisations including the WHO feel that endorsing e-cigarettes is premature when not enough is known about their effects, some medical experts think the electronic devices are potential life-savers. One such e-cigarette proponent is Dr Derek Yach, Executive Director of the Vitality Institute and one of the world's leading anti-tobacco advocates.


Over the past ten years, a substantial minority of cigarette smokers in many countries have turned to electronic (e-) cigarettes in an attempt to quit smoking or as an alternative to smoking some or all of the time. [...] But Australia has banned the sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.


The University of Queensland's Professor Wayne Hall said current law on electronic nicotine delivery systems placed researchers – and people who wanted to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking – in a difficult situation. E-cigarettes containing nicotine cannot legally be sold in Australia. "We should not have to choose between banning e-cigarettes completely and selling them alongside children's candy," Professor Hall said.


Anti-tobacco campaigners have welcomed the tabling of the Scottish Government’s e-cigarettes bill, which they said was a “careful balancing act” between restricting young people’s access to electronic cigarettes while maintaining access for smokers seeking help to quit tobacco use. Ash Scotland said it believed that e-cigarettes were less damaging to health than traditional cigarettes [...]


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