The AMA has reiterated its opposition to any easing of regulation of e-cigarettes, saying there was no compelling evidence the devices helped people to stop smoking.
In its submission this week to the government’s inquiry into the use and marketing of e-cigarettes and personal vaporisers, the AMA said Australia “must not allow e-cigarettes to become a socially acceptable alternative to smoking”.
“E-cigarettes essentially mimic or normalise the act of smoking. They can result in some smokers delaying their decision to quit and they can send signals to children and young people that it is okay to smoke,” AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said in a statement accompanying the submission.
The AMA called for more regulation around the advertising and marketing of e-cigarettes, saying the devices and products should be subject to the same restrictions that apply to tobacco.
The AMA said it would also welcome moves to address the inappropriate advertising of e-cigarettes as cessation aids.
“It is important that all consumers, including those who are considering quitting smoking, are accurately informed,” the AMA said.
Dr Gannon said Australian authorities had not been able to establish any proof that e-cigarettes were safe or effective in stopping people smoking.
“Until we see comprehensive clinical reports from the NHMRC on the safety or non-safety of e-cigarettes, we must continue to treat these products with extreme caution,” he said.
“Australia is a world leader in tobacco control, and we must remain a world leader in stopping people smoking or taking up smoking for the first time.”