Over 20 of the state’s most prominent health organisations have called for the NSW Health Minister to ban the use of e-cigarettes in smoke free areas of NSW.
E-cigarettes emit vapour instead of smoke, and are used by people all over the world to quit smoking, or instead of tobacco.
Australia remains one of the few western countries in the world where nicotine e-juice remains illegal, however users can still order the juice online and have it imported for personal use at a fraction of the cost of cigarettes or other tobacco products, while flavoured e-juice, without nicotine, is readily available in stores.
Currently in NSW laws allow e-cigarette use in smoke free public spaces, including public transport, cafe’s and schools, although the Tamworth Regional Council is ahead of the ball on this issue.
Council’s Smoke Free Environment Policy prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in any areas where smoking is prohibited, including the Tamworth, Manilla and Barraba CBDs, as well as sporting fields, recreation facilities, parks and playgrounds.
“Smokers are smokers. Compared to our cigarette sales – I am not concerned at all about e-cigarettes.”FreeChoice Tobacconist Grahame Cook
Despite the limitations on public use in the region local retailer Grahame Cook from FreeChoice Tobacconist said that the popularity of e-cigarettes continues to grow, although is still far over shadowed by the popularity of the traditional cigarette.
“The nicotine juice is illegal to sell but we do stock an e-cigarette, or vaporizer as they are known and they are getting more and more popular,” Mr Cook said.
“They don’t emit any carbon dioxide and all the ingredients that are in the juice can be found in the supermarket aisles, so I am not sure about all these laws and regulations.”
While it might seem counter intuitive for a tobacconist to sell a product designed to aid people to quit smoking, Mr Cook doesn’t see the rise of e-cigarettes as a threat at all.
“We have sold 30 a month for the last two months and have ordered 50 more which we will likely sell this month,” he said.
“But smokers are smokers, and are always more likely to come back. Compared to our cigarette sales – I am not concerned at all about e-cigarettes.”