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E-cigarettes and vaping
The Liberal National government is taking an informed and considered approach to e-cigarettes and is continuing to monitor emerging evidence regarding their safety, role in smoking cessation, dual use with conventional tobacco products and concerns around take-up by non-smokers. The Government’s position on e-cigarettes is based on the need to consider the overall impacts that e-cigarettes pose to population health, including on non-smokers and smokers.
The Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum, which includes Commonwealth and state and territory Ministers, has agreed to national guiding principles for e-cigarettes. The guiding principles, which can be found on the Department of Health's website here, reflect the Government’s considered approach to e-cigarettes and affirm that the current national regulatory framework remains appropriate.
The existing evidence indicates that e-cigarettes are not harmless products. On 3 April 2017, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council issued an updated statement on e-cigarettes, which notes that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that e-cigarettes are safe or to conclude whether e-cigarettes can assist smokers to quit. More broadly, the Government recognises the need for further research into e-cigarettes and notes that the NHMRC has funded ten grants, committing over $8.5 million for research into e-cigarettes since 2011.