Despite appeals to support e-cigs for health purposes, Australian authorities have turned down the opportunity to legalise e-liquid containing nicotine.
New Nicotine Alliance Australia crafted a proposal that was rejected by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian Department of Health body that regulates products with potentially medicinal properties.
It never seemed likely that the e-cig lobby group would be successful. The TGA has banned nicotine outside of standard nicotine replacement therapies and traditional tobacco products, declaring it a controlled substance.
However, there are Australian vapers despite the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigs being illegal. Vapers can still use e-liquid products without nicotine, but many vapers rely on the nicotine content to help them quit smoking.
E-cigarettes have an ambivalent, mixed reception among lawmakers and politicians around the world. Many in politics back e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation, whereas many outright reject vaping, backing further regulations and restrictions.
In Australia, the e-cig lobby group was aiming to convince the TGA to promote e-cigs as a viable method of smoking cessation, or harm reduction method. The TGA said the risk of nicotine addiction was the reason for the decision, and said there is insufficient evidence on the long-term effects of vaping.
In the UK, vaping has helped thousands quit smoking, and is considered the best smoking cessation by some. Public Health England, the Governmental agency for the department of health, have described e-cigarettes as 95% safer than regular cigarettes and has even called for the NHS to prescribe e-cigs for smokers looking to quit.
However, Australian vapers seem to facing more of a struggle than UK vapers, with a continuing battle between e-cig supporters and lawmakers.