The AMA wants to introduce nationally-consistent controls and restrictions on the marketing and advertising of e-cigarettes, it says.
The organisation today released its updated Position Statement on Tobacco Smoking and E-Cigarettes 2015, which replaces the AMA Position Statement on Tobacco Smoking 2005, which incorporates the AMA’s policy position on e-cigarettes.
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, says that while some states have taken a strong stance on E-Cigarettes, others have not, which sends conflicting messages to consumers.
“The AMA is concerned that e-Cigarettes are particularly appealing to young people, and the marketing of these products builds on this appeal,” he says.
“The promotion of e-Cigarettes to young people as recreational products has the potential to undermine tobacco control efforts, and normalise the act of smoking.”
The AMA believes that E-Cigarettes should not be sold to anyone under 18 years of age, Prof Owler says.
“E-Cigarettes should not be marketed as smoking cessation aids, because this is not currently supported by evidence.
“We recommend that the marketing and advertising restrictions that apply to tobacco products should also apply to e-Cigarettes.
“A nationally consistent approach is needed to stamp out any products or marketing that make smoking in any form appear attractive.”
The Position Statement makes a number of recommendations to help reduce the number of smokers in Australia, including:
- expanding designated smoke free areas;
- refining and extending plain tobacco packaging;
- reducing exposure to tobacco advertising;
- providing increased cessation support for pregnant women who smoke; and
- continuing with efforts to prevent children and young people from ever smoking, such as increasing the price of tobacco and cigarettes.
Prof Owler says that increasing the price of cigarettes is known to be a strong deterrent for smokers.
“We know that every time the price of cigarettes increases, some smokers quit the killer habit, and non-smokers are prevented from taking up smoking,” he says.
“It is important that smoking deterrent messages and information are readily available to help people stop smoking, and convince others not to take up the habit.”