Ethical Issues Raised by the Australian Ban on Electronic Nicotine Devices
16:25 - 16:40
Public Health and Policy
Over the past 30 years the daily smoking prevalence among Australian adults has declined to 13% thanks to very high tobacco taxes, bans on cigarette advertising, smoke-free policies in all public spaces, graphic health warnings and plain packaging of cigarettes. The advent of e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS) has been a disruptive technology that promises to provide smokers with a much lower risk way of obtaining nicotine than smoking cigarettes. Australia has banned the sale of ENDS to adults. This policy is supported by the most of the Australian tobacco control community. Australia’s policy contrasts with that in the UK where ENDS are freely available for sale and regulated as consumer goods. This paper explains how the Australian ban has come about, critically analyses the arguments offered to justify the policy and discusses the ethical and policy issues that it raises. It also describes ways in which the sale of ENDS could be regulated for recreational use that would address the more reasonable concerns of those who support a ban.
- Prof Wayne Hall Professor - Centre for Youth Substance Abuse, Queensland
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