Vapers' perspectives on electronic cigarette regulation in Australia

Fraser, Doug, Weier, Megan, Keane, Helen and Gartner, Coral (2015) Vapers' perspectives on electronic cigarette regulation in Australia. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26 6: 589-594. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.01.019

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Author Fraser, Doug
Weier, Megan
Keane, Helen
Gartner, Coral
Title Vapers' perspectives on electronic cigarette regulation in Australia
Journal name International Journal of Drug Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0955-3959
Publication date 2015-01-31
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.01.019
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 26
Issue 6
Start page 589
End page 594
Total pages 6
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Vapers’ opinions on standard and novel regulatory models for personal vaporisers.
• Vapers in Australia use nicotine in personal vaporisers despite current laws.
• They support regulation which would prohibit sale to minors.
• They do not support regulation which would restrict their access to PVs.
• Their views conflict with some aspects of current and proposed regulatory models.

Background The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), also known as personal vaporisers (PVs), has increased rapidly in Australia despite legal barriers to the sale, possession and use of nicotine for non-therapeutic purposes. Australia is one of many countries in the process of developing regulations for these devices yet knowledge of consumers’ views on e-cigarette regulation is lacking.

Methods An online survey was completed by 705 e-cigarette users recruited online. Participants answered questions about their smoking history, e-cigarette use, as well as their opinions on appropriate regulation of e-cigarettes.

Results Most participants were male (71%), employed (72%), and highly educated (68% held post-school qualification). They tended to be former heavy smokers who had stopped smoking entirely and were currently vaping. Participants generally agreed that the government should enforce minimum labelling and packaging standards and there was majority support for minimum quality standards. Most supported making e-cigarettes available for sale to anyone over the age of 18, but expressed concern about the government's motivation for regulating e-cigarettes. There was strong opposition to restricting sales to a medicines framework (prescription only or pharmacy only sales).

Conclusion E-cigarette users in Australia are in favour of e-cigarettes being regulated as long as those regulations do not impede their ability to obtain devices and refill solutions, which they view as important for them to remain smoke free. These views align with some aspects of appropriate policy designed to maximise the public health potential of e-cigarettes in society, but conflict with some of the proposed regulatory models. Governments should consider how future regulation of e-cigarettes will affect current consumers while helping to maximise the number of smokers who switch to e-cigarettes and minimise the possibility of non-smokers becoming addicted to nicotine.
Keyword Nicotine
Personal vaporiser
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 24 Feb 2015, 01:28:02 EST by Coral Gartner on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research