AMA supports Government response to e-cigarette deaths

19 Sep 2019

The AMA strongly supports a statement – released by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and all the State and Territory Chief Health Officers – that urged a precautionary approach to the marketing and use of e-cigarettes, and recommended that e-cigarette users with unexplained respiratory symptoms seek medical advice.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the warnings are timely, with reports of a seventh death in the United States linked to vaping-related lung disease.

“The AMA has advocated for a precautionary approach to e-cigarettes for some time,” Dr Bartone said.

“Along with other prominent health groups, including the Thoracic Society of Australia, the AMA was a signatory to the 2018 Cancer Australia Statement that highlighted concerns about e-cigarettes.

“We have also raised concerns about the promotion of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) believes there is insufficient evidence that e-cigarettes have a role as cessation aids.”

Dr Bartone highlighted the evidence that e-cigarettes normalise smoking, particularly among young people, and that international experience has shown that e-cigarette use can increase the risk of nicotine addiction and subsequent tobacco smoking.

“We must continue to be a world leader in combating smoking and being vigilant about products and promotions, including e-cigarettes, that may tempt people to continue or take up the killer habit,” Dr Bartone said.

The Statement from the Chief Medical Officer and the State and Territory Chief Health Officers is available here.  

The AMA Position Statement on Tobacco and E-Cigarettes is available here.

The AMA submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Vaporised Nicotine Products Bill 2017 is available here.