Vapouround magazine ISSUE 21 - Page 93

Lead researcher Alex Larcombe was critical of the lack of regulation for vaping products. He said: “The real take-home message here is that people are buying these liquids unaware of what’s in them, and there’s no way they can tell based on what the label says.” Simon Chapman, vape industry critic and Professor Emeritus in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, said: “Vaping retailing in Australia is a real cowboy … they say they can sell the juice without nicotine, but there’s no specification about what can and can’t be in it. “I’ve also been told there’s a fair amount of amateur, backyard lab production of e-juices which are being sold.” The campaign group Legalise Vaping called the TGA’s warning ‘absurd’, noting that they were well-aware that vaping products were untested and unregulated and yet they had failed to act. Campaign director Brian Marlow said: “While the TGA has sat on its hands, these products are regulated and legally available to smokers in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, the European Union and New Zealand.” “Australians deserve access to the same reduced risk alternatives to smoking, and we are calling on the TGA and public health authorities to work with us to deliver the safety standards and regulations that all Australians expect.” Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) responded via a press release, noting that the average concentration found in the e-liquids was in fact 15 times lower than normally found in commercially-available nicotine juices and would be highly unlikely to cause harm at such low levels. “These products are regulated and legally available to smokers in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, the European Union and New Zealand. Australians deserve access to the same reduced risk alternatives to smoking.” Professor Mendelsohn said: “Trace amounts of several chemicals were also identified. It is impossible to say if these are toxic without knowing the dose and the level at which they cause harm. Neither were provided.” Professor Mendelsohn has been vocal in calling for vaping products to be legalised and regulated. In an interview with Inside Sources he referred to the UK as ‘leading light’ in tobacco harm reduction thanks to the government’s endorsement of e-cigarettes. The push for proportionate regulation has gained some momentum since Andrew Laming MP issued a dissenting report in response to the government’s year-long enquiry into e-cigarettes issued in March last year. Mr Laming’s report simply read: ‘Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping.’ VM21 | 93