As Deputy Chair of the Committee, I believe that nicotine e-cigarettes should be evaluated by independent health experts – not politicians.
I note that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) rejected an application to allow nicotine use in e-cigarettes in March 2017 (paragraphs 1.35-1.36 refer). Committee Members also note that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) concluded in April 2017 that policy makers should act to minimise the harm of nicotine e-cigarettes until ‘evidence of safety, quality and efficacy can be produced’ (1.40-1.41).
The referral also gave Big Tobacco an appalling opportunity to influence tobacco policy in Australia. This appears to have violated the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control by inviting the tobacco industry to submit and testify to the Committee (1.19-1.23). This alarmed some of the Committee Members and experts such as the Australian Medical Association who also testified, and should alarm the Government.
Governments should continue to follow the advice of the independent experts on nicotine e‑cigarettes.
Mr Steve Georganas MP