E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

Australian Doctor Founds Advocacy Group in Bid to Get Electronic Cigarettes Legalized

Attila Danko, an emergency department doctor from Ballarat, Victoria, has recently founded New Nicotine Alliance Australia, a non-profit organization that aims to counter misinformation about electronic cigarettes and ultimately get them legalized in Australia.

Attila-DankoAlthough the use of electronic cigarettes in the Land Down Under is not illegal, a number of laws relating to tobacco control, medicines and poisons make their regulation very complicated. The sale of nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes and e-liquid is banned in most Australian states under poisons laws, but they can be imported from overseas  with a medical prescription via the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Liquid nicotine is classified as a Schedule 7 Dangerous Poison, so possession of it without a prescription is considered a serious offence. New regulations voted by State Parliaments all over Australia are expected to make using e-cigarettes even more complicated.

Tired of standing by as lawmakers do everything int their power to make sure smokers don’t get the opportunity to switch to what is generally considered a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, and inspired by the findings of a scientific review commissioned by the UK’s Public Health England (PHE), DrAttila Danko decided to take action. He has recently established New Nicotine Alliance Australia, a non-profit organization  modeled on the similarly-titled British advocacy group that militates for e-cigs in the UK.

Speaking about the results of the PHE review, Dr. Danko said “This compelling report confirms the weight of reliable scientific evidence that e-cigarettes save lives. Its message is clear: e-cigar­ettes help people stop tobacco smoking and Australian smokers should legally have that option.”

A smoker for over 30 years, Danko says he has “given up on giving up” after switching to electronic cigarettes, three years ago. Regarding New Nicotine Alliance Australia’s mission, Attila Danko clarified that it was not get non-smokers hooked on nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes, but rather educating current smokers that they have the choice to switch. “These are for hardened smokers who can’t give up any other way,” he told 9News.

However the Australian Medical Association’s position on nicotine is very clear – it is highly addictive and there is no good reason to ingest it in any form. Unless it’s registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which for e-cigarettes which  involves an assessment of elements including the safety, quality and efficacy of the liquid nicotine and an assessment of the design of the electronic cigarette to ensure it is safe to use. There are currently no e-cig brands registered with the TGA right now.

The 47-year-old doctor currently has a prescription and imports vaping supplies from foreign countries, but said it was absurd that a person should require a prescription for electronic cigarettes, yet could buy much more dangerous tobacco cigarettes over the retail counter. “It sends a strong message that the government would rather you smoke cigarettes,” said.

 

“They (Australian health bodies) are basically trying to ban and make illegal a safer option,” Dr Danko said. “They are very similar (to nicotine patches) in that smokers still get their nicotine hit but while replicating the smoking experience, only you can choose how much you have and when to stop.”

Danko also likened the choice between tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes to heroin addicts using methadone instead. Perhaps not the most inspired comparison, but he does make a valid point.

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