E-cigarette retailers illegally selling nicotine e-liquids, including to underage users, new study says
Tobacconists are the most common source of nicotine e-liquids in Australia, despite it being illegal for them to sell these products, a new study says.
One in five adolescent respondent users reported illegally sourcing their nicotine e-liquids from tobacco retailers.
Published in BMC Public Health,the study surveyed more than 600 e-cigarette users, and asked about the type of e-liquid they used and where they source the product.
Four in five users reported using nicotine e-liquid at least monthly. Worryingly, 78% of adolescent e-cigarette users aged 12 to 17 years reported using nicotine e-liquid, and a quarter of adolescents and young adult users did not know the nicotine strength of the e-liquid they used.
Study author Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis said: “Despite industry groups claiming that tobacco retailers are responsible vendors of e-cigarettes, this research shows the opposite.
“It is illegal to sell nicotine e-liquid outside the Therapeutic Goods Administration pharmaceutical scheme to those of any age, yet over a quarter of e-cigarette users report sourcing their nicotine from tobacco retailers”.
One in five adolescent respondent users said they sourced their nicotine e-liquids from tobacco retailers, despite it being illegal to do so.
“Industry groups consistently blame the black market for the increasing use of e-cigarettes among children. They claim that to counter the black market, retailers should be allowed to sell nicotine containing e-cigarettes. The reality is retailers are already selling these products illegally, and are contributing to the rapid rise in youth e-cigarette use.” Associate Professor Jongenelis said.
“Many of these retailers have been shown to be irresponsible and they cannot be trusted to sell nicotine containing e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids legally. To allow them to do so would be a public health disaster.”