E-cigs far from sexy

Smoke Free: Illawarra’s Tina Hunt with her children Rory, 8 and Laura 9. Mrs Hunt is happy the NSW Government has introduced new e-cigarette laws. Picture: ADAM McLEAN.Bulli mother of four Tina Hunt fears young people find e-cigarettes are a “sexy”alternative to smoking.
Nanjing Night Net

The Smoke Free Illawarra representative worries that the flavours and types of e-cigsavailable makes them attractive to young people at a time whentobacco smoking is at its lowest levels ever in Australia.

Mrs Hunt is happy that less people are smoking but wants youngsters to heed health experts’ warnings associated with electroniccigarettes.

Many health practitioners and experts are concerned that not enough research has been done to determine whether the chemicals involved in e-cigarettes are forming toxic or cancer-causing chemicals when vaporised.

“As a mother myself I’d discourage my children from e-cigarettes –we just don’t know enough about them at the moment,” she said.

“Another problem is that e-cigs are readily available in places like markets, service stations and chemists.”

She was also concerned that some electronic cigarettes and e-liquids in Australia hadbeen found to contain high levels of nicotine.

The NSW Ministry of Health has brought in new laws to protect young people.

It is now illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 and for adults to buy e-cigs for people of this age group.

By December it is expected that a number of new laws, including retailers being unable to display or advertise e-cigarettes either inside or outside of their premises, will come into effect.

Mrs Hunt said health organisations were concernedthat ‘’e-cigs were re-normalising’’ smoking for young people.

The Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation are calling for regulated laws.

“With the long term health effects of e-cigs being still largely unknown and an alarming predicted uptake ofuse by young people, the new laws are a welcome relief,” Mrs Hunt said.

“It is vitally important that we protect young people against the possible harm that could be done by e-cigarettes as they are more susceptible to this harm.

“Until we know the health effects of e-cigs and whether they encourage young people to take up smoking we need to be extra cautious.”

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