Senate debates

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Questions without Notice

Health

2:40 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Bernardi for the question and for giving some prior notice. Senator Bernardi, as you would be aware, in relation to e-cigarettes the Australian government is taking a precautionary approach. As you would also be aware, presently nicotine for use in e-cigarettes cannot be lawfully sold in Australia. The government will continue to monitor evidence about the safety of e-cigarettes, their impact on smoking initiation and cessation, uptake amongst youth and dual use with conventional tobacco products.

In terms of the commitment that we have made, through the National Health and Medical Research Council the government has supported 12 grants and committed over $12 million to research e-cigarettes since 2011. You would also be aware that the government has also commissioned the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health at the Australian National University to conduct a public health assessment of e-cigarette use. This assessment was designed by the centre and it will be independent. It will provide further evidence to support high-quality decision-making on e-cigarettes for the Australian context.

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