National Health and Medical Research Council Statement on Electronic Cigarettes: 2022 Update


Introduction: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in Australia has rapidly increased since the 2017 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) statement on e-cigarettes. The type of products available and the demographic characteristics of people using these products have changed. New evidence has been published and there is growing concern among public health professionals about the increased use, particularly among young people who do not currently smoke combustible cigarettes. The combination of these issues led NHMRC to review the current evidence and provide an updated statement on e-cigarettes. In this article, we describe the comprehensive process used to review the evidence and develop the 2022 NHMRC CEO statement on electronic cigarettes. Main recommendations: • E-cigarettes can be harmful; all e-cigarette users are exposed to chemicals and toxins that have the potential to cause adverse health effects. • There are no health benefits of using e-cigarettes if you do not currently smoke tobacco cigarettes. • Adolescents are more likely to try e-cigarettes if they are exposed to e-cigarettes on social media. • Short-term e-cigarette use may help some smokers to quit who have been previously unsuccessful with other smoking cessation aids. There are other proven safe and effective options available to help smokers to quit. Changes in management as a result of this statement: The evidence base for the harms of e-cigarette use has strengthened since the previous NHMRC statement. Significant gaps in the evidence base remain, especially about the longer-term health harms of using e-cigarettes and the toxicity of many chemicals in e-cigarettes inhaled as an aerosol.

Used by permission: the author(s).
cigarettes, smoking, vaping

Freeman, B., Peters, M. J., Bittoun, R., Brightwell, R., English, D. R., Thomas, D. P., Otlowski, M. F., Zwar, N. A., & Chamberlain, C. (2024). National Health and Medical Research Council statement on electronic cigarettes: 2022 update. Medical Journal of Australia, 220(2), 100-106.

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