Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

E-Cig Health Claims Are a Smokescreen to Hook Youth

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

E-cigarettes could be a Trojan horse for the tobacco industry that offers young people a trendy device that reduces their nicotine intake yet gets them hooked on smoking, according to a commentary published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Prof Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney argues that the tobacco industry knows “how essential new cohorts of young smokers are to its very survival as an industry… Today, an ever-diminishing 12.8% of Australians aged 14 years and over smoke on a daily basis. The record low uptake of smoking by the young is most responsible for this. The prospect of the industry reversing this inexorably ruinous exodus has been given a major boost with the arrival of ECs.

“The internet is awash with aggressive advertising for ECs, and the wide range of models available make them highly attractive to young people acutely hungry for ever-changing technology with edgy semiotics,” Chapman wrote.

Chapman cites a website sponsored by cigarette manufacturer Lorillard, which stated: “Kids may be particularly vulnerable to trying e-cigarettes due to an abundance of fun flavors such as cherry, vanilla, pina-colada and berry”. He counters: “Many chemical flavourants in ECs have been approved for ingestion in foods, but not for inhalation up to 200 times a day, as occurs with ECs”.

Statistics for EC use in Australia suggest...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.