Menzies School of Health researcher Dr Marita Hefler says the rapid evolution of alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, meant outlawing combustible tobacco, including cigarettes, was now possible
Though e-cigarettes and other vaping products are growing more popular, they haven't proven to be as much of a boon to the tobacco giants as expected. Photo: iStock
"Any other consumer product that kills up to two-thirds of its long-term users remaining legal is unimaginable,"Dr Hefler said.
"Even if the political will had existed for a sales ban, until recently, no products could match the nicotine delivery efficiency of combustible tobacco with substantially less harm, rendering a sales ban a non-viable option due to the risk of a black market."
Dr Hefler's push comes in the wake of findings of a new study in the United States which examined the health impacts of a large-scale switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes
According to projections from cancer researchers at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, up to 6.6 million cigarette smokers could live a combined 86.7 million years longer under policies that encourage them to swap their smokes for e-cigarettes.
AdvertisementEven under the worst-case scenario projection, where e-cigarettes turn out to be more harmful than currently believed, researchers argued 1.6 million premature deaths would still be avoided, with 20.8 million fewer life-years lost.
E-cigarettes and vapour devices heat a nicotine juice into an aerosol which is then inhaled by the user.