Regulating e-cigarettes in Australia: implications for tobacco use by young people

Luke Wolfenden, Emily Stockings and Sze Lin Yoong
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (1): 89. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00787
Published online: 11 December 2017

Policy decisions surrounding the regulation of e-cigarettes need to account for their potential unintended harm on youth

E-cigarette use is a relatively new field of research and policy development. Few issues, however, have been as divisive as the role of e-cigarettes in improving community health.1 Some tobacco researchers and organisations, including Public Health England and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, have advocated for the use of e-cigarettes to assist quitting.2,3 However, the World Health Organization and many other government and health organisations do not support this use,4 citing concerns regarding the robustness of evidence for their efficacy as a cessation aid, product safety, tobacco industry action in the area, and the potential for e-cigarette experimentation in youth to increase the risk of subsequent smoking and nicotine dependence.4

  • Luke Wolfenden1,2
  • Emily Stockings3
  • Sze Lin Yoong1,2

  • 1 University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2 Hunter New England Population Health, Hunter New England Local Health District, Newcastle, NSW
  • 3 National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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