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May 6th 2011
Townsville residents warned e-cigarettes are poison

Queensland Health is warning people in the Townsville region not to buy e-cigarettes containing liquid nicotine, following the seizure of more than 70 consignments imported into the country.

Townsville Public Health Unit Environmental Health Manager David Sellars said Queensland Health had been advised Queenslanders were buying e-cigarettes from overseas websites and importing them into Australia.

“E-cigarettes are illegal in Australia,” he said. “They contain vials of liquid nicotine, which is a very dangerous poison.”

In the past month, Queensland Health has seized and destroyed about 70 consignments at Brisbane Airport’s postal screening service.

”It is classed as a Schedule 7 dangerous poison under the Australian Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons,” Mr Sellars said.

“If used inappropriately – or if children get hold of the liquid nicotine – the consequences can be fatal.”

The World Health Organisation’s International Program on Chemical Safety advises that 10mg of liquid nicotine can kill a child within five minutes of them swallowing it.

“The e-cigarettes are being misleadingly marketed as a safe alternative to cigarettes, and as an aid in withdrawal from tobacco smoking – but this is not the case,” Mr Sellars said.

“There is no evidence e-cigarettes are effective in helping people to quit smoking.

“There are a range of safe products people can use to help them quit smoking, including nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets,” he said.

“Our smoke-free laws regarding both indoor and outdoor smoking lead the nation,” Mr Sellars said.

“We also run mass media campaigns, a Quitline service and programs for high-risk people.”

“Our anti-smoking programs are reducing Queenslanders’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, contributing to a culture that supports smokers trying to quit and discouraging young people from taking up the habit,” he said.

According to Queensland Health, the latest data shows smoking rates among adults have dropped to 15.5 per cent in 2010 from 22.1 per cent in 2001.

The Queensland Government has recently launched the My Smoking campaign that targets Queenslanders aged 18 to 24 years who smoke, and seeks to prompt young people to contemplate their smoking and encourage them to quit.

Further information about the campaign is available at

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or read those of others, see below

Townsville residents warned e-cigarettes are poison
Chris C
May 6th 2011
Me thinks that Mr Sellers chose his words very poorly. E-cigs are not by definition dangerous nor do they necessarily contain nicotine.

If fact e-cigs are readily and legally available from a number of australian suppliers none of which sell nicotine 'juice' for the cigs.

Of course, Mr Sellers also doesn't seem to see the irony that nicotine is legal if you buy it from a tobaco company but not in a form so that you can control the amount of intake and (more importantly) do so he without also having to consume the 40-odd toxic chemicals that the cig companies include in their legal products.

As for the effectivness of e-cigs in stopping smoking - I know of two on the island (including myself) for whom they (the non-nicotine type)have helped cut down immensely where none of the other therapies have worked.

It seems to me that they only ones to benefit from this ill-informed (or just badly written) release is the tobacco companies and big-pharma (think nicorette).
Elaine Keller
May 6th 2011
Sophie Dwyer needs to keep up-to-date on medical research. Miss Dwyer, look up these researchers' names: Bullen, Laugesen, Vansickel,Darredeau, Polosa. All have conducted research with smokers and found that e-cigarettes supress nicotine abstinence symptoms without raising BP or heart rate. Have a chat with Dr. Coral Gartner at Queensland University. Look up these names: Etter, Heavner, Siegel, Goniewicz, Dockrell. All have surveyed consumers of e-cigarettes and found that users are successfully substituting them for their smoked cigarettes and reporting their health has improved. In fact, Dockrell of ASH UK found that 3% of UK smokers have made the switch. That's 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK. Wake up Queensland Health. These surveys show success rates of as high as 79%. Contrast that with the patches and gum QH is pushing -- at best a 7% success rate. The Heavner survey showed that 65% of the e-cigarette users had tried at least 4 times in the past to quit, and 21% had tried 10 or more times. Why do you insist on pushing folks into using what's ineffective? Do you still prescribe rubbing butter on a burn?
Phil Sheather
May 7th 2011
I thoroughly concur with both of the above contributors. I am one of two mentioned by Chris and can say quite positively that if you want to give up tobacco, then e-cigarettes are a viable solution. The harmless vapour they produce comes in many flavours (tobacco being just one). Those that I use are completely free of nicotine, as well as all the other toxins involved with tobacco. There is no smell, combustion, ash, or holes in your clothing.
The other incentive of course is the cost: an outlay of around $20 gives the equivalent of 50 packs of cigarettes - work out the math for yourself.
For the doubting Thomases, I suggest visiting the following reseach site

Happy vaporising - it works
May 8th 2011
So, are e-cigarettes "illegal in Australia" or are they not? There seem to be two arguments in the same information here.
May 9th 2011
After trying and failing dismally to quit many times -where do you purchase e-cigarettes? I am willing to try them,if the law permits!!
May 10th 2011
At this time e cigarettes are legal to own and use in Australia. Electronic cigarettes do not have to contain nicotine.

However nicotine is a schedule 7 poison and the unlicensed sale or distribution of it is illegal under federal law. Each state has different regulations, but Queensland just prohibits the sale of nicotine in all but approved forms.

Currently there is no legislation to prohibit the import of nicotine liquid for personal consumption, only the quantity is restricted. This falls under the Therapeutic Goods act 1989 and permits for up to 3 months supply to be imported at one time, and no more than 15 months supply in any 12 months.

As yet, except for exceeding this quantity, there is no other legislated reason to seize shipments.

Not all electronic cigarettes require nicotine in solution in vial form some come with sealed pre-filled cartridges, these are in no way appealing to children, or indeed anyone without the apparatus to use them (constructed from metal and plastic).

Also be aware that NRT lozenges, vapour spray and "breath mints" laden with nicotine can prove fatal to children if ingested. These are freely available without prescription form all pharmacies.

Most of the problem seems to be the fact that electronic cigarettes are perceived as smoking (especially using the name cigarette) which they are not. Nicotine is delivered to the lungs suspended in a non combusted vapour form. Many users refer to the apparatus as personal vapourisers to avoid the stigma associated with tobacco smoking.

Over 300,000 people use electronic nicotine vapourisers in the UK and more across the USA these are almost without question people who have used these devices to cease tobacco use. There have also been no recorded incidence of fatal nicotine poisoning relating to these form of nicotine products.

A simple search of google will find companies willing to provide these products to Australia, there is also an online support forum for further information Aussie Vapers - I cant vouch for the content as I am not a member.

Finally I am not aware of any qualitative study carried out by Queensland Health or indeed any Australian public body into the safety or benefits of vapourised nicotine inhaling. Or if it can be used smoking cessation or as NRT. The claims of Queensland health that there are no benefits is completely without foundation.
Glenn Brown
October 9th 2011
Obviously David Sellars is not a smoker and has not personally felt the effects of nicotine withdrawals and therefore should not really comment on anything at all regarding any smoking aids,the whole e cigarette thing is just another problem for the qld government to have to deal with so an easy cop out is to ban it.

On a personal level i am a truck driver and smoked two packets during the day.after trying patches,tablets and with no success decided to try e cigarettes and along with purchasing 24 mg nicotine liquid from overseas have reduced my smoking to around one packet a week.

In my eyes anything that reduces smoking cigarettes in any way shape of form should be welcomed with opened arms and not just swept under the carpet with a quick" banned"

E cigarettes are freely available online in nsw and qld should give the same privilege to the people also,i am starting to think that it is more the loss in tax dollars that is more the problem in the future.

Buy the way i am smoking an e cigarette as i write this with my family in the same room with no complaints about the smell ,the ashtray how much it is costing and how i am damaging my health and everyones around me so how can this this be a bad thing?
October 21st 2011
Well have to say who is this Turkey. As already mentioned obviously not a smoker.
having tried everything under the sun, I can certainly say they work in getting off the evil sticks. have not touched one in over 7 months from the day I tried an e-cig and never looked back.
In Fact similar story to Glenn and my family love me for what I have done, no smelly ashtrays, no smelly breath, no smelly clothes, no 2nd hand smoke, I'm fitter, I look healthier, my skin colour has returned, I can smell and taste really well again, the list could go on.

As to the so called seizure and destruction, I hope someone somewhere takes them all to a court of Law as it is not 'illegal' to import for own use, it is illegal to import and sell and fair enough. Of course if all 70 were for one person then that is a bit suss, but if not what is the issue?? (I guess although seems real stupid that no one other than the Big Smoke companies can bring it in and sell) Hmmmm maybe, just maybe there is a good reason for that. Perhaps as said Tax Dollars has a lot to do with it - I'm just saying, you make your own conclusions.

David Sellars says '“We also run mass media campaigns, a Quitline service and programs for high-risk people.”

“Our anti-smoking programs are reducing Queenslanders’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, contributing to a culture that supports smokers trying to quit and discouraging young people from taking up the habit,” he said.'

O Really well all I can say is you and the Gov have a very strange way of showing it. E-Cigs work absolute!!
They got me off sk\mokes after smoking for 40yrs how can that be a bad thing in no longer sucking 4000+ Chemicals, Tar and CO2 into me???

As a well known pollie once said;
Please explain!!!!
Mick Cherry
October 27th 2011
I have been a long term smoker, over 45 years. After hundreds of attempts to give up the deadly weed to no avail I finally found the ecig. Not only have I been able to last for over 3 months now without a cigarette, but I have found it easy to gradually reduce the nicotine content of my ecig down from 2.4 to 1.2, next step is the .6. Dont know if I will be able to quit totally but I seem to be heading that way. I am breathing easier, my clothes dont smell, my kids and grandkids are rapt and have finally stopped nagging me. I feel 100% healthier and happier because my sense of smell is returning and that I am no longer a social outcast due to smoking.
These bloody ill informed and moronic pollies are only interested in their loss of tax revenue from me and thousands like me. They would rather ban the only effective means of quitting (for me) than reseaching the true facts about ecigs and encouraging smokers to at least try every method available.
My only regret is that they weren't available 40 years ago because I know that, for me, the damage is probably done.
ECigs are the best product on the market to help quit smoking and I would encourage every smoker to give away the weed and start vaping, they are bloody marvellous.
As for the pollies, you are just proving what we already know - you havnt got a clue
Julie Rayner
June 8th 2012
Cudos to everyone who has written in with their success stories. Here's mine..... I have been smoking for over 30 years @ 40 smokes/day. I have COPD and my doctors have been hassling me for years to give up. The day I got my ecig was the day I gave up. Six months ago now with no withdrawls or nasty side effects. I even used it during my last hospital stay with the blessing of my treating medical team and my lung specialist.
If politicians took the time to listen to the people, they would find that there are heaps of us that have found these things to be the solution to a life time of lung abuse. Not only do they address the physical nicotine addiction on a sliding scale, the cater for the physical addiction as well. I have not met a person yet who has tried an ecig and then continued to smoke. That's a 100% success rate in my circle of the world. Show me another device available that will achieve those results in the ongoing fight with the nicotine demons!
Get a big dose of reality and introduce the ecig as a cessation device. The best thing the Qld Government could do would be register them as a device to stop smoking and offer Medicare rebates. The taxes you loose will be balanced by the reduction in costs for the health system. Think about it! Seriously!

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