Australian Government Releases Info. About E-Cig Scientific Inquiry

Australia¡¯s liberal party MPs have long been striving to overturn the current vaping ban. Down under the devices are legal, but the use of nicotine-containing refills is not. In August 2016, several public health activists had submitted proposals to local regulator Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), to remove nicotine concentrations of below 3.6% from the Poisons Standard. However, in February 2017, the TGA rejected the application and upheld the nicotine ban.

Last September during a party room meeting, several MPs had raised the issue once again, saying that there is widespread support within the government to legalize the nicotine-containing devices. The discussion was triggered by the New South Wales Liberal Trent Zimmerman, and while health minister Hunt had stated that he was still opposed to any changes to current regulations, he had finally agreed to an independent inquiry into the scientific evidence about the devices.

However, almost a year later, there has been very little information released about the inquiry. Yet, in response to a question by Senator Cory Bernardi in the Senate last week, the Australian government has finally released some details.

The study will be carried out by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, by the highly regarded epidemiologist, Professor Emily Banks and her team. The grant of $750,000 for the project, has been available since the 27th of February 2019, and the project is expected to be complete by December 2020.

According to Senator Cash, there has been a lot of controversy as the project is a review of evidence but ¡®does not have terms of reference¡¯, which everyone agrees are critical and would determine whether the inquiry is of value or not.

On the other hand, thankfully the inquiry will be independent, ¡°the assessment was designed by the centre and it will be independent¡¯. This increases the likelihood of the report being objective and non-biased.  Enditem