Australian surveys have shown that there's been an increase in young people vaping, but what are the risks involved? Here's what you need to know:
Are e-cigarettes legal?
Under existing state and territory laws in Australia, the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to someone without a doctor’s prescription is illegal. But this does not guarantee all e-cigarettes sold legally are nicotine-free.
The possession or use of these products without a prescription is illegal in all states and territories except South Australia.
Is vaping harmful?
There has not been enough research on e-cigarettes to know exactly how they might affect your health. However, evidence is emerging of a link between vaping and lung disease requiring intensive care. Most e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but the toxic chemicals and flavourings in e-cigarettes could be very harmful.
Most products that involve inhaling chemicals into the lungs go through a long testing process to prove they are safe and effective. These tests have not been conducted on the e-cigarettes available in Australia, so their safety can't be guaranteed.
Experts are concerned that teenagers and young people who wouldn't try 'real' cigarettes may be attracted to vaping. There's a risk that e-cigarettes could normalise smoking, and act as a gateway to tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping liquids can harm children
Although illegal in Australia, liquid nicotine refills for e-cigarettes are very dangerous both for children and adults. Nicotine is a poison that can be absorbed through the skin, and accidental swallowing of liquid nicotine can be lethal.
One teaspoon of liquid nicotine refill is enough to cause permanent damage or even death, particularly in children.
If you suspect that someone has been poisoned, get medical help immediately. You can call the Poisons Information Line 24 hours a day from anywhere in Australia on 13 11 26, or reach New Zealand's National Poisons Centre on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766).
If the person is showing signs of being seriously ill, such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, drowsiness or seizures (fits), call an ambulance by dialling triple zero (000) in Australia or 111 in New Zealand, or take the person to the closest emergency department.
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Article originally published by HealthDirect
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.