E-cigarette are an alternative to smoking. Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle
E-cigarette are an alternative to smoking. Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle Robyne Cuerel

Smoking laws to cover e-cigarettes

E-CIGARETTES will be treated the same as tobacco cigarettes in Queensland under new laws that come into effect today.

The Heart Foundation has praised the regulation, stating electronic cigarettes still deliver nicotine and chemicals into the lungs.

While e-cigarettes, or vapers, have been touted as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, Heart Foundation health director Rachelle Foreman said e-cigarettes are a poison risk and have "not proven to be safe" or approved to help people quit smoking in Australia.

"E-cigarette vapour is drawn deep into the lungs, delivers poisons and chemicals, including toxic metals," Ms Foreman said.

"Our greatest concern is that e-cigarettes appear to be encouraging the uptake of smoking among children and could see another generation addicted to nicotine."

Ms Foreman said despite how they are being marketed, e-cigarettes are not a proven safe alternative to smoking.

"Worrying evidence from overseas is showing that non-smoking young people are first trying nicotine through e-cigarettes."

"We also can't allow e-cigarettes to undermine Queensland's excellent smoke-free laws. We've seen people vaping inside shops and on trains which are smoke-free areas."

The bill came under fire from a tobacconist when it was before the parliamentary health committee.

The Peregrine Corporation that operates Queensland tobacconist Smokeart and Giftbox said the bill imposed "a strict legislative regime" on selling e-cigarettes, but did not "adequately address" a lack of product standards for the product.

The bill received bipartisan support when passing through parliament last year.

- APN NEWSDESK


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