National nursing group endorses use of e-cigarettes
Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) released a Position Statement yesterday supporting the use of ‘e-cigarettes as a harm replacement tool or cessation aid for smokers who cannot quit with approved therapies’.
According to the Position Statement titled Electronic Cigarettes for Tobacco Harm Reduction, ‘substance users have high rates of smoking and low quit rates and are more likely to die from a tobacco-related disease than from their primary drug problem’.
‘E-cigarettes can be used as a long term safer alternative to smoking (tobacco harm reduction) or as a short-term quitting aid’ the statement says.
DANA is now the second medical organisation in Australia to endorse the use of e-cigarettes and the legalisation of nicotine following the recent statement from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).
This is in spite of a recent Senate Inquiry decision not to pass a Private Members Bill on e-cigarettes until further evaluation has been undertaken.
The momentum towards e-cigarettes in Australia is slowly shifting. These organisations recognise that many smokers are simply unable to quit nicotine or smoking, especially those with substance use or mental health problems. Switching to e-cigarettes is likely to lead to substantial health benefits.
DANA Position Statement #3
Electronic Cigarettes for Tobacco Harm Reduction