A Parliamentary Committee will be established to look at the use, sale and promotion of Personal vaporisers, including e-cigarettes.
Battery operated personal vaporisers are designed to simulate the look and feel of smoking, turning a liquid into a fine aerosol which is inhaled into the lungs.
Health Minister Jack Snelling said that the committee would be chaired by the Member for Elder Annabel Digance and would look at both the risks posed by personal vaporisers and whether legislative and regulatory controls should be applied to e-cigarettes.
“Legislation that bans cigarette sales to minors, smoking in enclosed areas, tobacco product promotion and tobacco product display does not apply to e-cigarettes, and the committee will look closely at this,” Mr Snelling said.
Ms Digance will move a motion in Parliament today to establish the committee because she said it was important that we understood the health risks associated with e-cigarettes to individuals and the community as well as any potential for their use in reducing smoking prevalence.
“The committee will make recommendations to address the availability and supply, sales to minors, advertising and promotion, use in smoke-free areas, and product safety and quality control under the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997,” Ms Digance said.
The Act already bans the sale of tobacco product lookalike items, while the Controlled Substances Act 1984 makes it an offence to sell liquid nicotine without a permit, which is not provided for e-cigarette products.
“Other Australian jurisdictions are also taking action around e-cigarettes,” Ms Digance said.
“Queensland now regulates e-cigarettes in the same way as other tobacco products, the New South Wales Government has committed to banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and the Western Australian Government has successfully prosecuted an e-cigarette retailer for selling a vaporiser that looked like a tobacco product.”
Mr Snelling said the Government would carefully consider any recommendations of the committee in any future regulation of e-cigarettes.