There is some hope that the country’s hardline stance on nicotine may be softening. In a story titled “Cancer Council divided over e-cigarettes,” 9 News reports that researcher Ron Borland has split with his organization over the nicotine ban. The official stance of the Cancer Council is that nicotine should remain prohibited.

But Borland says that e-cigarettes are being treated the same way as cocaine and heroin while cigarettes remain freely available. And that is a hard position to defend.

“I just don’t understand the logic of having nicotine in the deadly form of tobacco cigarettes widely
available, while nicotine in the much safer form of e-cigarettes is outlawed by the Poison Standard,” says Professor Ann McNeill of Kings College London.

Prof. McNeill, who was the lead author of the Public Health England e-cigarette evidence review last year, signed the Mendelsohn submission to the Australian government. “The current situation in Australia protects the cigarette business, encourages smoking and increases the risk of disease,” she said.

The signatories to the Mendelsohn comment to the government constitute a who’s who of worldwide nicotine and tobacco science and policy experts. Among them are several influential names from New Zealand, which is itself beginning the process of making nicotine legal for vaping.

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