The CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has today released a statement summarising the evidence on the safety, quality and efficacy of e-cigarettes.
It states that, “There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude whether e-cigarettes can benefit smokers in quitting, or about the extent of their potential harms.
“It is recommended that health authorities act to minimise harm until evidence of safety, quality and efficacy can be produced.
“NHMRC is currently funding research into the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.
“NHMRC advises consumers to seek further information about e-cigarettes from reliable sources, such as the relevant State and Territory Health Department or their general practitioner.”
The statement was developed in response to the rising prevalence of e-cigarette use in Australia and around the world, and concern that e-cigarettes are being marketed as a method to help smokers quit, or as a ‘safe alternative’ to conventional cigarettes, despite insufficient evidence to support these claims.
Further research is needed to enable the safety, quality and efficacy of e-cigarettes to be assessed.
NHMRC currently supports more than $1 million of research in this area and welcomes further high quality applications by Australia’s research community through its grant schemes.
The statement was developed in consultation with, and is supported by Chief Health Officers from all Australian states and territories.