On 6 October 2020, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction. The committee will inquire into a range of tobacco reduction strategies and is due to report by 1 December 2020.
Prevention and cessation of smoking has been a remarkable public health achievement in Australia, which is attributed to the regulatory and population-based approach of the Tobacco Control Regulations and guidelines. Despite the progress that has been made, 11% of Australians still smoke daily, though this number is continuing to decline. There is a duty of care to regulate products that encourage smoking from being sold and advertised alongside everyday items as the addictive and dangerous nature of these products limits the ability of consumers to make an informed choice. We also need to continue to provide evidence-based smoking cessation programs and supports across the community.
CHF believes that there is a need for more research on various aspects of e-cigarettes, including their safety, efficacy as a harm reduction tool and potential to undermine smoking cessation efforts. We support a precautionary approach while there remains a lack of high-quality evidence on the long-term consequences of e-cigarette use.
CHF's full submission to the Committee can be accessed below, and further information about the Tobacco Harm Reduction inquiry is available on the Committee's website.