The non-independent study conducted by Philip Morris, indicated that as opposed to 62% in Brazil and 66% in Hong Kong, only 43% of Australian smokers surveyed by the tobacco company, feel that they possess all the information they would require to feel comfortable switching to e-cigarettes.
Lead researcher Povaddo surveyed 16,099 smokers and non-smokers across 13 countries including Australia, and found that a significant number of them would consider switching from smoking to vaping. Globally, 68% of smoking participants said they would be more likely to switch, if they had access to reliable information pointing out the differences between the variety of available products.
The Australian cohort of the survey, was made up of 1,238 respondents, of which 11% are current smokers and 4% are occasional smokers. The data compiled from this cohort suggested that having such information available would be greatly beneficial.
The regulatory situation down under
A GRANT for the INQUIRY HAS BEEN AVAILABLE SINCE THE 27TH OF FEBRUARY 2019, AND THE PROJECT IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 2020.
In Australia, public health experts and liberal party MPs alike, have long been efforting to overturn the current e-cigarette ban. In Australia the devices are legal, but the use of nicotine-containing refills is not.
In August 2016, several public health activists, amongst which the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), had submitted proposals to local regulator Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), to remove nicotine concentrations of below 3.6% from the Poisons Standard. However, in February 2017, the TGA rejected the application and upheld the nicotine ban.
Last September, New South Wales Liberal Trent Zimmerman, who in 2018 had chaired a parliamentary inquiry appointed to look into e-cigarette use, had raised the issue of e-cig regulations once again in Parliament. In response to this Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt, had finally agreed to an independent inquiry into the scientific evidence about the devices. However, almost a year later, there had been very little information released about the inquiry.
Finally, in response to a question posed by Senator Cory Bernardi in the Senate earlier this month, the Australian government has released some details.
The study will be carried out by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, by the highly regarded epidemiologist, Professor Emily Banks and her team. The grant of $750,000 for the project, has been available since the 27th of February 2019, and the project is expected to be completed by December 2020.
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