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​Doctors Have An Ethical Obligation to Suggest E-Cigs to Smokers

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Doctors Have An Ethical Obligation to Suggest E-Cigs to Smokers


The international Medicine Journal of the Royal Australian College of Physicians published a study recently reviewing the latest scientific discoveries about e-cigarettes and also showed some evidence. The review gave a conclusion that since the devices are proven to be effective smoking cessation aids, they should be recommended by doctors to smokers who are struggling to quit.

The study was conducted by Professor Colin Mendelsohn who is a UNSW Conjoint Associate professor and also a well-known harm reduction advocate and has been on the forefront when it comes to advocating against unreasonable e-cig regulations in Australia. While e-cigarette devices are legal, using nicotine-containing refills is what is against the law. Several public health activists in 2016, including the New National Alliance (NNA), submitted proposals to local regulators Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), stating that nicotine concentrations that fall below 3.6% should be removed from the Poisons Standard.

However, thing seems not to work as expected when the TGA rejected the proposals in February 2017, and Dr. Attila Danko from NNA AU, at the time, said what TGA has just done was simply telling the hundreds of thousands of Australians who had quit smoking by the use of e-cigarettes that they quit the wrong way. He emphasized that TGA has just pointed it out blank to the people that “we are not going to let you do this. But you can go and buy a pack of smokes, no problem.”

This decision of TGA has lead many Australians looking to switch using nicotine-containing liquids to first have to visit a doctor to obtain a prescription, and then look for a pharmacy that actually sells the liquid. This is, in no way helping situations as many end up buying a packet of deadly cigarette which, of course, are known to be much more harmful when compared to vaping products. It’s super easy to do that overcomes.

Are There Any Scientific Data in Favour Of E-Cig for Smoking Cessation at All?

Professor Mendelsohn in his review of the latest scientific evidence on e-cigarettes, he highlighted a couple of studies that happened in the UK and US, where the devices are more readily available and have helped a large portion of the smoking population quit smoking.

He also referred to an earlier report by the Royal College of Physicians in 2016 also in the UK where it was concluded that though vaping is not completely without harm, is thought to be up to 95% safer when compared to smoking. This figure has also been confirmed in a report earlier published this year when Public Health England released findings from an e-cig review conducted by leading independent tobacco experts.

Mendelsohn made the statement that “medical practitioners do have a duty to make sure they provide the best possible management anytime the need arises. However, withholding a legitimate treatment option which could have prevented a life-threatening illness is nothing but a breach of their obligation.”


He also added that “for some individuals who have tried to quit smoking using conventional methods but had repeatedly failed, using an e-cigarette is a legitimate and evidence-backed option for reducing harm. The use of such option will bring a great relief and improvement to Australia public health.”

In the last summer, professor Mendelsohn stated it that for the first time ever, the smoking rates in Australia have exceeded that of the United States despite the fact that Australia has the most expensive cigarettes and plain packaging in the world. It is, however, devastating to know that smoking rates in Australia increased by over 21,000 to 2.4 million in just 3 years; between 2013 and 2016. This, Mendelsohn attributed to the approach of the local authority to the whole thing.

“For the first time ever, there has seemed not to be any statistically significant reduction in smoking rate but rather Australia is having a tremendous increase in the number of smokers.” Said Mendelsohn.

Smoking Rates Have Been Found to Decrease Where E-Cigs Have Been Endorsed

In agreement with this study, Australian doctors in a couple of months back, addressed the federal parliamentary committee a couple of months back, when they were advocating that smokers should be given the right to access vaping products which will provide them the nicotine hit that they have earlier been addicted to, and yet keeping them off the harmful components usually contained in cigarette smoke.

The committee was informed about the tremendous reduction in the rate of smoking in countries where vaping was either legalized, such as in the UK, or in such places like the US where e-liquids containing nicotine are readily available. The smokers also mentioned it that the theories stipulating that vaping either acts as a gateway to or normalizes smoking has thus far been proven to be unsound. However, in a recent statement of the minister of Health, Minister Greg Hunt, he stubbornly affirmed that he will never lift the ban on the devices, and there is no going back on that.


warningThe products available on our website are not suitable for persons under the age of 18, pregnant women, non smokers, and people with any kind of health issue.


Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance, please keep out of reach of children. If ingested please seek immediate medical assistance. Electronic cigarettes are not a smoking cessation device or method. If you wish to stop smoking please contact your local NHS or General practitioner for advice on how to do so. These products are intended for those who are looking for an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.


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