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Heart Foundation commends Government for bold and lifesaving e-cigarette reforms

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Heart Foundation commends Government for bold and lifesaving e-cigarette reforms

Media release: 2 May, 2023

A crucial step to avoid ‘Smoking 2.0’

The Heart Foundation commends the Australian Government for its tough stance on e-cigarettes through a raft of new reforms announced today.

The Heart Foundation has for some time now been concerned that e-cigarette use would simply become ‘Smoking 2.0’ in the way that it has attempted to hook an entire new generation of Australians on harmful nicotine products, placing profit ahead of people’s health and wellbeing.

E-cigarettes are not safe and evidence is beginning to emerge that their use is bad for heart health.

Worryingly, research also shows that e-cigarette use can lead to the uptake of tobacco smoking, which is one of the leading risk factors for developing heart disease.

Today’s announcement is a critical step towards closing a loophole that has allowed e-cigarettes to be treated differently to tobacco products, despite being harmful. With children as young as primary school age using e-cigarettes, the Heart Foundation is relieved to see action being taken to keep e-cigarettes out of the wrong hands.

The Heart Foundation is pleased to see the Government act on many of the recommendations we put forward in a recent submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration consultation on vaping regulation reforms.

We are particularly pleased to see a stop on imports of non-prescription vapes and an increase in minimum quality standards, and restricting flavours, colours and other ingredients of those products made available via prescriptions.

The e-cigarette link to heart health

This week is Heart Week, Australia’s national heart health awareness week. One of the focuses this week is on blood pressure. The nicotine found in e-cigarettes and in tobacco cigarettes can raise a person’s blood pressure, increasing their risk of heart attack or stroke over and above the damage done by the smoke itself.

Research into people who use e-cigarettes has also found that many later take-up tobacco smoking, which is well-evidenced to lead to heart disease.

This Heart Week the Heart Foundation is calling on Australians to take three simple steps to protect their heart: get your blood pressure checked at your GP, pharmacy or via a validated machine at home, calculate your heart age via our easy online calculator and book in your Medicare subsidised Heart Health Check with your GP.

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Last updated02 May 2023