A non-independent study conducted by Philip Morris International shows that compared with 62% in Brazil and 66% in Hong Kong, only 43% of Australian smokers surveyed by tobacco companies think they have all the information they need to switch to e-cigarettes comfortably .
Lead researcher Povaddo surveyed 16,099 smokers and non-smokers in 13 countries, including Australia, and found that many of them would consider switching from smoking to smoking. Globally, 68% of smoking participants said they were more likely to switch, if they were able to obtain reliable information, pointing out the differences between the various available products.
The survey’s Australian cohort consisted of 1,238 respondents, of which 11% were current smokers and 4% were occasional smokers. The data compiled from this cohort indicates that it would be very beneficial to provide such information.
In Australia, public health experts and Liberal MPs have been working hard to overturn the current e-cigarette ban. In Australia, these devices are legal, but the use of nicotine-containing refills is not.
In August 2016, some public health activists, including the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), submitted a proposal to the local regulatory agency Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to remove nicotine concentrations below 3.6% from the poison standard. However, in February 2017, the TGA rejected the application and upheld the nicotine ban.
In September last year, New South Wales liberal Trent Zimmerman presided over a parliamentary investigation in 2018, which was commissioned to investigate the use of e-cigarettes and raised the issue of e-cigarette regulations in parliament again. In response, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt finally agreed to conduct an independent investigation of scientific evidence regarding these devices. However, almost a year later, information about the investigation was rarely released.
Finally, in response to a question raised by Senator Cory Bernardi in the Senate earlier this month, the Australian government has announced some details:
The study will be conducted by the highly acclaimed epidemiologist Professor Emily Banks and his team at the National Epidemiology and Population Health Centre of the Australian National University. As of February 27, 2019, the grant for this project is US$750,000, and the project is expected to be completed in December 2020.