Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 92

FEATURE AUSTRALIA: Tests reveal nicotine and unlisted chemicals in ‘nic-free’ juices The latest media scare only strengthens the argument that Australia should legalise and regulate vaping By Gordon Stribling Australia gets a lot of column inches in Vapouround but unfortunately, it’s rarely for positive reasons. Despite having a large vaping community and one of the world’s most well-known YouTube vapers among its citizens, the government’s approach to e-cigarettes remains stuck in the past. Regulations vary state-by-state but for all intents and purposes, vaping is an illegal practice. E-cigarette users face fines of up to AUD $45,000 for possessing nicotine- containing e-liquid without the prescription that many doctors are unwilling to supply. So, it will come as no surprise that reductions in smoking have slowed in recent years. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there was no decline in daily tobacco smoking between the years 2013 and 2016. In the UK, smoking prevalence dropped from 18.4 percent to 15.5 percent over the same period. 92 | VM21 According to a recent report by the Australian Bureau of statistics, Aussies spend AUD $14 billioWn a year on smoking. Despite this – or perhaps because of the country’s strong tobacco-control policies – the government has been reluctant to embrace e-cigarettes. The latest media furore centres on a recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia that led the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) to warn the public of the ‘serious risks’ posed by e-liquids. Six of the 10 ‘nicotine-free’ e-liquids purchased by researchers at Curtin University were found to contain nicotine. The tests also found benign food additives, some chemicals commonly found in soups, detergents, solvents and pesticides and certain ‘by- products of animal or human bodily functions.’