The Queensland Government has submitted a proposal to amend smoking laws in the state. If brought in, this law would make e-cigarettes and personal vaporisers fall under the same regulatory laws as tobacco products. If passed, the amendments would take effect on in 2015. This would make Queensland the first state in Australia to pass legislation regarding e-cigarettes. There are no regulations for the popular devices in any other part of Australia. However, there has been much criticism for the new laws, since there is no concrete evidence about the effects of using e-cigarettes.
A report that was released by the World Health Organisation (Electronic nicotine delivery systems) is claimed to be the driving force behind the new legislation in Queensland. The devices are not going to be banned, but selling them to minors, or even advertising them for sale will be against the law. In addition, it will be illegal to use them in any place where smoking tobacco is already not allowed.
What Are the Amendments?
In keeping with the laws regarding the advertisement and sale of nicotine products in Queensland, it will also be illegal to advertise or sell e-cigarettes without legal approval. E-cigarettes are generally advertised as being a good aid for people who want to quit smoking. The problem is that there is not enough evidence to suggest that there are any health benefits to switching over to these devices, instead of smoking tobacco.
It is also believed that they will start to work as a gateway product, leading people to eventually take up smoking. It is thought that their availability will go against governmental efforts to make smoking seen as not normal. The World Health Organisation’s report claimed that e-cigarettes pose a threat to legislation that is intended to control the use of tobacco.
At the moment, it is only illegal to sell, advertise, or possess e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. That is, unless it is intended for traditional use with a tobacco product, or for therapy. While these laws might prohibit the use of e-cigarette devices, they seem to be intended to control them.
What Are Electronic Cigarettes?
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that was created to deliver nicotine in the form of vapour. It is believed that removing the smoke from the act of “smoking” makes a much less harmful product. While many companies and individuals tote the devices as a way to quit, others believe that they can be used for enjoyment. In many cases, they do look similar to cigarettes, and have a comparable appearance when being used. A special liquid, called “e-juice”, is used in the devices. This usually contains nicotine, and it is heated up by the device. This produces a vapour that gives a similar feeling to smoking. However, it does not come with the thousands of chemicals that inhaling smoke introduces into the body.
More studies clearly need to be carried out regarding e-cigarettes, before they can be judged as harmful. At the moment, many people in government seem to be hesitant to ban the devices. This is largely because many people have successfully switched from tobacco to e-cigarettes. If the devices are actually less harmful, they might not be such a bad product.